Reports have surfaced that Republican aides and strategists are quietly speculating that Attorney General Merrick Garland will indict former President Donald Trump within 60 to 90 days after Election Day.
The prediction stems from a belief that once Trump’s 2024 campaign picks up, the window to prosecute the former President would close.
The sentiment, first reported by The Hill, revolves around what “Republican aides on Capitol Hill and veteran party strategists” who admit they don’t have any inside information believe the Attorney General might do.
However, these figures claim Garland is under tremendous pressure from Democrats who want him to act as the deadline for an indictment quickly approaches.
But aides also believe the indictment would further polarize the country, as Trump would term the DOJ’s prosecution as a political witch hunt, only strengthening support for the former President.
According to The Hill, one veteran Republican aide shared a similar sentiment to others within the GOP, saying, “A couple of weeks after the election, I assume that Garland will indict Trump.”
Another GOP aide claimed that an indictment might help Trump’s political ambitions, saying, “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 predicted a backlash from Republicans would only be stronger the further into the 2024 election cycle Garland indicts Trump, explaining there is “a substantial risk in waiting.”
The idea an indictment would bolster support for Trump within the GOP is given credence because of the response following the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
But Barbara McQuade, a former federal prosecutor who is a law professor at the University of Michigan, doubts the midterm elections will play any role in when the DOJ decides to indict Trump.
“I doubt the timing of the midterm elections has much to do with the timing of any indictment of Donald Trump,” McQuade said.
McQuade explained that the next time Trump would appear on the ballot was in the 2024 primary elections, “which begin in January of 2024. The DOJ policy would not come into play until 60 days or so before that date,” adding Garland “has all of 2023 to play with.”