Despite a massive FBI raid this summer and two ongoing Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations, former President Donald Trump has weathered 2022 without a formal indictment.
But last week’s criminal introduction could break Trump’s lucky streak in the New Year.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots has recommended in its final hearings that the Justice Department file four criminal charges against Trump, who will formally run for president in 2024. announced.
Although the indictment will ultimately be at the Justice Department’s discretion, the final report released by the commission may give prosecutors more incriminating evidence than they may need to file a case against Trump.
Former federal prosecutor and state attorney Michael McAuliffe said: Newsweek As the investigation progresses in 2023, federal and even state indictments are “increasingly likely” against Trump.
While it won’t dictate the decision of Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing two Justice Department investigations into Trump, the House report is likely to give prosecutors access to testimony. he said. Witness cooperation may be enhanced, leading to more substantive evidence for criminal charges.
“The Department of Justice and state investigators need an opportunity now to digest and evaluate hundreds of interview documents from individuals who could be potential criminal witnesses against Trump,” McAuliffe said. Said.
DOJ is investigating Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol riots and classified records found at Mar-a-Lago’s home. At the same time, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office is investigating Trump’s attempt to overturn his 2020 election results in Georgia.
By targeting some of the witnesses who participated in the House committee’s investigation, McAuliffe said prosecutors would attempt to “upend” their cooperation.
“Cooperating targets must admit responsibility for the underlying crimes and provide information about their own activities and those of others, including Trump,” he said. It is the way a criminal case is constructed in the matter of.”
But while McAuliffe believes Trump is more likely to be indicted, former federal prosecutor Neama Ramani believes the former president is unlikely to be indicted in 2023. There is
Mr Ramani said the appointment of Mr Smith as special prosecutor raised the prospect of criminal charges, but said “time is on the defendant’s side”.
Nearly two years after the mob stormed the Capitol, Rahmani says the inquiry has had little impact on an issue many Americans have already come to their own conclusions about.
“There is already a perception among some Americans that Mr. Trump will be indicted for political rather than legal reasons, and a partisan congressional referral has influenced this perception.” he said. Newsweek.[Attorney General Merrick] Garland will have to approve the indictment, and you may fear that by prosecuting Trump you are opening Pandora’s box. ”
Ramani said it was a “more likely and recent crime” given Garland’s apparent reluctance to indict Trump over documents found in Mar-a-Lago in August. Attorney General said tracking Trump on Jan. 6 is even less likely., 2021.
“What leads everyone to believe he’s upset about the Capitol riots and the trials related to Trump’s role in his tax return,” Ramani said.
But it’s possible that McAuliffe deferred the more “frank” accusation not because there was no evidence to support a formal criminal complaint, but because Garland didn’t want to influence other investigations at his agency. “The timing of indictment is a strategic consideration,” McAuliffe said, because prosecution in one criminal case could limit the means of investigation in another.
Indicting Trump in the New Year is “possible,” said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond. Newsweek Much of the information essential to the DOJ’s decisions has not been made public, making it difficult to predict what 2023 will look like.
He also said prosecutors will scrutinize information to clarify whether Trump violated federal law so that the Justice Department can follow the guidelines Garland has vowed to run his department. Said it was necessary.
“Garland has repeatedly said that politics is not grounds for prosecution and that the Justice Department will rely on law and facts to support its prosecution decisions.