With each new day and revelation about the full extent of what failed, one-term former president Donald Trump has done regarding classified documents he stole when he left office, the pressure increases on Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department to charge the ex-president with serious crimes, including violations of the Espionage Act.
But will the DOJ actually indict Trump?
Franklin Foer of The Atlantic writes that Garland will indeed charge Trump, if only to prove that no one is above the law.
An indictment would be a signal to Trump, as well as to would-be imitators, that no one is above the law. This is the principle that has animated Garland’s career, which began as the Justice Department was attempting to reassert its independence, and legitimacy, after the ugly meddling of the Nixon years.
Foer notes that he believes Garland would love nothing more than to avoid the inevitable shitstorm that indicting Trump will touch off, but the former president has made the move necessary.
When Trump began to assail the search of Mar-a-Lago, Garland asked the court to unseal the inventory of seized documents, essentially calling out the ex-president’s lies. Rather than passively watching attacks on FBI agents, whom Trump scurrilously accused of planting evidence, Garland passionately backed the bureau. As Trump’s lawyers have tried to use a sympathetic judge to slow down the department’s investigation, Garland’s lawyers have responded with bluntly dismissive briefs, composed without the least hint of deference.
Pay attention to what Garland repeatedly said when asked about the Trump case, Foer concludes, and you can find a map for what is likely to happen shortly after the midterm elections.
Every time he’s asked about the former president, he responds, ‘No one is above the law,'” he writes. “He clearly gets frustrated that his answer fails to satisfy his doubters. I believe that his indictment of Trump will prove that he means it.