Prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice believe they now have enough evidence to charge former president Donald Trump with obstruction of justice, but are likely waiting to see what other crimes they can prove the ex-president committed before the seek an indictment, according to a report from Bloomberg.
The team that’s part of the classified records probe has not yet made a formal recommendation to Attorney General Merrick Garland, who would ultimately approve or reject such a move, according to people familiar with the matter. It’s also unlikely officials would bring only obstruction charges amid several other Trump investigations into potential crimes, the people said.
In addition, while some Federal Bureau of Investigation agents oppose bringing such a politically charged case as Trump considers a 2024 presidential bid, others support action, said the people, who asked for anonymity to discuss information not yet public. Agents, however, don’t make the final decisions.
Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, says an obstruction charge against Trump is by far the easiest to prove:
But the DOJ needs to be careful and follow law and precedent, according to David Laufman, former chief of the Justice Department team now conducting the records probe:
However, it seems unlikely that Attorney General Merrick Garland will make any decisions on charging Trump until after the midterm elections, and possibly not before Christmas.
Trump could also be charged with violations of the Espionage Act for his mishandling and theft of classified government documents. If convicted under that statute, the former president could be sentenced to 10 years on each count, which would be a death sentence for a 76-year-old man who is already in supect health and has a history of mental incapacitation in his immediate family. His father, Fred, died as a result of Alzheimer’s disease in 1999 at the age of 93.