Donald Trump’s announcement of his third run for the presidency of the United States will not shield him from the criminal investigations that burden him as an ordinary citizen, leaving him legally and politically exposed because He tries to win the 2024 Republican nomination.
The Justice Department continues to conduct its investigation. And with the midterm elections almost over and the 2024 presidential campaign just a few months from now, federal prosecutors have plenty of time to keep up with their work.
Former Justice Department prosecutor Michael Weinstein said, “I don’t think the department is going to waver as a result of Trump nominating himself and anointing himself as the frontrunner in the 2024 election.” “I think they’re going to see it as you trying to use the system, as you’ve done successfully in court”, and be prepared for your “backlash”.
Trump enters the race facing a federal investigation related to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and the withholding of confidential government documents at his Florida estate, as well as another in Georgia.
The investigation into the withholding of documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence has moved particularly quickly, and prosecutors this month granted a Trump aide immunity to secure his testimony before a federal grand jury. Justice Department lawyers involved in that investigation said they gathered evidence of possible crimes that included not only obstruction but the intentional withholding of national defense information.
It is unclear whether anyone will be formally charged, as well as the date by which a decision will be issued. But former officials said the best way to ensure an outcome is a proper investigation without showing any special treatment or abuse because of Trump’s prior status.
Matthew Miller, who served as a Justice Department spokesman under Eric Holder, said, “The public will have more confidence in what they’re doing, and they’ll have more successful results, if they vote for Donald Trump like any other American.” Let’s treat.”
The current attorney general, Merrick Garland, has indicated this, and in the middle of the year responded to questions about the Trump investigation and the January 6 attack on the Capitol that “no one is above the law.” In July, when asked in a televised interview how Trump’s potential candidacy might affect the department, Garland replied: “We will hold anyone criminally responsible for trying to interfere with the lawful and legal transfer of government.” Will also be held accountable.”
Investigating any elected official, or candidate for office, almost always invites political speculation. Justice Department protocol cautions prosecutors against taking direct action before an election, but it’s more of a standard convention than a hard and fast rule. And the 2024 presidential race is two years away.
Still, it’s not easy to scrutinize a former president or a current candidate. This is especially true of Trump, who has spent much of his presidency attacking his own Justice Department and criticizing his own appointed attorney general. He has already criticized the FBI for raiding Mar-a-Lago in August, and used the episode to raise money for his supporters.
Now, with his official candidacy, he and his supporters will seek to recast the narrative of the investigation as political harassment by a Democratic government they fear until 2024.
Indeed, there is a risk for Democrats that Trump — who declared himself a “victim” during his announcement on Tuesday — could once again rouse his supporters to that argument. On the other hand, the results of last week’s midterm elections indicate that he may be more politically vulnerable than many thought.