As we approach the coming midterm elections, there are a number of disparate storylines to follow, particularly when the proverbial gloves come off after the votes are counted.
Of note is the seemingly inevitable announcement that Donald Trump will be running for the White House in 2024, as the former President continues to make not-so-subtle hints about his decision.
But there is also the very distinct possibility that Trump finds himself in the crosshairs of the DOJ as well, and some within the Republican Party are bracing for the worst.
Republican aides and strategists privately expect Attorney General Merrick Garland to pursue an indictment of former President Trump within 60 to 90 days after Election Day, predicting the window for prosecuting Trump will close once the 2024 presidential campaign gains momentum.
Republican aides on Capitol Hill and veteran party strategists emphasize they don’t have any inside information on what Garland might do, but they say the attorney general is under heavy pressure from Democrats to act and the deadline for pursuing an indictment is fast approaching.
GOP aides also warn that an indictment of Trump by the Biden administration would further polarize the nation and likely strengthen Trump’s support from the Republican Party’s base as the former president and his allies would frame the Department of Justice’s prosecution as a political witch hunt.
There was some disparity in regard to how such an indictment would be received.
“A couple of weeks after the election, I assume that Garland will indict Trump,” said one veteran Republican aide, expressing a sentiment shared by several other GOP aides and strategists.
A second Republican aide warned an indictment “could actually end up helping the [former] president politically.”
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“People have been talking about splintering support and dampening enthusiasm among Republican voters for him. An indictment could actually galvanize and reunify Republicans around him,” the aide said, predicting the Republican backlash to an indictment would be stronger if Garland brings an indictment later in the 2024 election cycle.
Trump has long maintained that the investigations into him were nothing more than political “witch hunts” aimed at deterring his 2024 run.