There has been a lot of speculation about whether the Justice Department will take the unprecedented step of charging former President Donald Trump after the shocking raid of his home last month. According to one former Trump ally, an indictment is coming.
Former attorney general Bill Barr told Fox News’ American Newsroom that the DOJ is “getting very close” to having a case against Trump over his handling of classified records.
Barr says Trump will be indicted
According to Barr, the question of whether Trump can be charged is separate from the question of whether it is prudent to charge him.
“Will the government be able to make out a technical case, will they have evidence, by which, that they could indict somebody on, including him?” Barr said. “That’s the first question, and I think they’re getting very close to that point, frankly.”
Barr claimed that Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified information is more “serious” than “failing to return a library book,” but he acknowledged that many Americans will not see it that way if Trump is charged.
“You have to worry about those things, and I hope that those kinds of factors will incline the administration not to indict him because I don’t want to see him indicted as a former president,” Barr said.
A political explosion is likely unavoidable if Trump is charged, especially seeing that he would be facing prosecution from the administration of his immediate successor and potential election rival in 2024.
Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, has said he will follow the facts “without fear or favor” but many are skeptical.
Garland has said the DOJ “will speak through its court filings and its work,” but the investigation’s credibility has been marred by government leaks to the media, a problem that plagued Trump during his four years in office.
Trump has lambasted the DOJ’s investigation as an effort by his chief political opponent to stop him from running in 2024 and a continuation of a partisan witch hunt that dogged Trump throughout his entire presidency.
While the DOJ faces a lot of “pressure” to indict Trump, Barr said he ultimately hopes that does not happen because of the consequences of breaking the norm against charging former presidents.
“What will that do to the country? What kind of precedent will that set?” he said.