OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Many supporters of former President Donald Trump, outraged over the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate in August, have nonetheless predicted that soon he will be criminally charged by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department.
While that may still happen, there are not likely to be any charges filed before the midterm elections, according to a Sunday report.
Newsweek noted that the DOJ is likely to hold off on charges — if, in fact, there are any forthcoming — due to the unofficial “60-day rule,” which is “a long running tradition that the Department of Justice will avoid making any decisions that could affect how people vote so close to an upcoming election or elections.”
“As of Saturday, the November 8 midterms are now 59 days away, meaning that if the DOJ chooses to follow the informal guidance they must wait to make, or announce, a decision to charge Trump until after the elections,” the outlet noted further.
That said, Jack Goldsmith, the former chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and currently a professor at Harvard Law School, told The New York Times that the 60-day window is an “unwritten rule of uncertain scope,” and that “it’s not at all clear that it applies to taking investigative steps against a noncandidate former president who is nevertheless intimately involved in the November election.”
“But its purpose of avoiding any significant impact on an election seems to be implicated,” he added.
While Trump is not on any ballot, his influence will be noticeable nationwide in November as dozens of his endorsed candidates hope to carry on his MAGA agenda in Congress.
Trump is potentially facing a number of charges in connection to investigations into the January 6 attack, as well as the FBI probe into claims he mishandled classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago resort, and then attempts to obstruct the federal investigation.
Separately, Newsweek reported early Monday morning that Trump was spotted making a surprise visit to Washington, D.C., which generated speculation he could be arrested.
“A video of Trump arriving at Dulles Airport in Virginia, an airport frequently used by those heading to the capital, was posted online by freelance reporter Andrew Leyden,” the report said.
“The former president can be seen getting out of a plane and heading into a vehicle waiting on the asphalt. Trump appears to be wearing golf shoes and a white polo top,” the report continued. “A motorcade of vehicles then drives away, with Leyden suggesting Trump was heading to his golf course in D.C.”
The report added that Trump did not mention the trip on his Truth Social platform.
There has been talk of charging Trump with crimes since he was in office. Famously, the most high-profile investigating involved then-special counsel Robert Mueller, who was assigned to look into ‘Russiagate’ allegations by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump later fired.
Late last month the Justice Department finally released a secret memo written by former Attorney General William Barr explaining why no charges against the then-president would be forthcoming from the investigation.
Previous reports have suggested that the allegation of ‘Russian collusion’ against Trump was a false narrative manufactured by the 2016 campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and in a June interview, Barr appeared to agree, comparing her behavior to “sedition.”
“I thought we were heading into a constitutional crisis. I think whatever you think of Trump, the fact is that the whole Russiagate thing was a grave injustice. It appears to be a dirty political trick that was used first to hobble him and then potentially to drive him from office,” he said on Glenn Beck’s Blaze TV podcast.
“I believe it is seditious,” he added, but he warned that those charges would be tough to prove in court.
“It was a gross injustice, and it hurt the United States in many ways, including what we’re seeing in Ukraine these days. It distorted our foreign policy, and so forth,” the former attorney general said.
He said that he named Special Counsel John Durham to lead the case in private so it would stop President Joe Biden and Attorney general Merrick Garland from interfering with him.