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Justice Dept. Not Likely to Charge Trump Before Elections: Report

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Many Democrats and people in the media are salivating at the idea that former President Donald Trump will find himself behind bars in the near future, but a new report has poured cold water on that idea.

The Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Merrick Garland, may wait until after the midterm elections to indict the former president, if they ever do, to abide by the “60 day rule,” Newsweek reported.

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The 60 day rule is not an official rule but it is a tradition that the Department of Justice and FBI will not do anything within 60 days of an election that may affect the way people vote.

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.

However, Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and former head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, noted that the 60 day rule 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 said to The New York Times.

Dick Morris, a former advisor to former President Bill Clinton, believes that the search of former President Donald Trump’s home is not about Trump evading the FBI but the FBI evading him.

“We need to go from defense to offense on this,” he said to Newsmax. “I think that one of the big reasons — if not the major reason — that the FBI seized those documents is that they incriminate not Trump, but the FBI in the Russia collusion scandal, in the scandal of spying on Trump’s campaign, and in the scandal of fabricating evidence to the FISA court to lead to wiretaps on key Trump officials.”

Morris has also been an advisor to former President Trump said he did not believe he would have taken documents with him to Mar-a-Lago to

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“Why would Donald Trump take documents with him to Mar-a-Lago that could impact could be bad for him and not declassify them so that they were innocuous,” he said to host Rita Cosby. “Why would he do that? He wasn’t writing a book or anything like that.

“I think the only reason that he took them with him — well, the major reason — was for him to review them to find evidence implicating the FBI.

“That’s why they raided Mar-a-Lago to get a hold of that stuff before Trump did. And I think that what we’re looking here is not about Donald Trump evading the FBI, but the FBI evading Donald Trump,” he said.

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Morris believes that the FBI wanted the documents because they may show an abuse of power by the FBI.

“He doesn’t look like he was getting them to review them for his memoirs or anything — he’s not writing them — but in order to go through the evidence himself and see what it implicated the FBI and its conduct against him,” he said.

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He also believes that the search of his home will not end with the former president being indicted.

“It sets up, in effect, what they call a Chinese wall between the evidence being between the evaluation of evidence for intelligence purposes and evaluation for the purposes of criminal prosecution,” the former Clinton advisor said. “That means they can’t use one in the case of the other. So, effectively, until the special master reviews the documents, they can’t use any documents for criminal investigation.

“And I think that eventually they will not have the basis for an indictment of Trump. I used to think he might be indicted, but I’ve now come to the view after Judge [Aileen] Cannon’s order, that he will not be,” he said.

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