GOP Strategists: AG Garland to Indict Trump After Midterms Attorney General Merrick Garland (Getty Images)
By Brian Pfail | Monday, 31 October 2022 12:50 PM EDT
Republican strategists anticipate Attorney General Merrick Garland to pursue an indictment of former President Trump 60 to 90 days after Election Day while predicting the window for prosecution to close once the 2024 presidential campaign takes off.
Republican aides on Capitol Hill and party strategist stress they do not have inside information on what Garland may or may not do. Still, they say he is under intense pressure from Democrats demanding action before the deadline for a possible indictment.
GOP aids warn that Trump's indictment under the Biden administration would further add to the polarized political atmosphere. They also believe it would only strengthen Trump's base and frame the Justice Department as seeking a political witch hunt.
"A couple of weeks after the election, I assume that Garland will indict Trump," said one veteran Republican aid.
Another aid warned the indictment "could actually end up helping the [former] president politically."
"People have been talking about splintering support and dampening enthusiasm among Republican voters for him," said the aide "An indictment could actually galvanize and reunify Republicans around him."
Republicans rallied behind Trump after the FBI raid at his Mar-a-Lago estate in early August.
The Republican aide said, "the decision Garland has to make is really tough," saying the case against Trump is strong, but it would "plunge the country which is already so divided… into a potentially precarious situation."
Trump would be charged with violating Section 793 of the Espionage Act for taking highly classified government documents to his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Garland has been silent on his decision, but the FBI raid in August shows it's clear he is willing to investigate.