Republican aides and strategists expect Attorney General Merrick Garland to pursue an indictment of former President Trump within 60 to 90 days after Election Day, saying that the window for prosecuting Trump will close once the 2024 presidential campaign gains momentum, The Hill reports. Republican aides on Capitol Hill and veteran party strategists say Garland is under heavy pressure from Democrats to act and the deadline for pursuing an indictment is fast approaching. GOP aides say 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 prosecution as a political witch hunt.
“A couple of weeks after the election, I assume that Garland will indict Trump,” said one veteran Republican aide, expressing a sentiment shared by other GOP aides and strategists. Another Republican aide warned an indictment “could actually end up helping the [former] president politically,” adding that, “People have been talking about splintering support and dampening enthusiasm among Republican voters for him. The Republican backlash to an indictment would be stronger if Garland brings charges later in the 2024 election cycle. Republicans say Garland has a strong potential case to charge Trump with violating Section 793 of the Espionage Act for taking highly classified government documents to Mar-a-Lago. Besides the documents case, Trump could be charged for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. GOP aides and strategists warn there’s a risk of political violence in response to any indictment against Trump. The former president warned last month that if the Department of Justice indicts him, “you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before.”