Speed Reads

plan in place?

How the Justice Department might respond to a Trump 2024 bid

Ever wondered how the Department of Justice might respond to another White House bid from Donald Trump?

Well, with the former president's presumed 2024 announcement just around the corner (sources say his team is looking at Nov. 14, specifically), DOJ officials are said to be mulling whether Trump's candidacy might necessitate a special counsel "to oversee two sprawling federal investigations" related to him, CNN reports.

Though officials are keeping things lowkey prior to the midterm elections, investigators "have remained busy" behind the scenes, looking into Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as well as his alleged mishandling of confidential security documents that were kept at his Mar-a-Lago mansion, CNN writes. The department hopes to decide whether to indict the former president before the 2024 race heats up, per The New York Times, and Attorney General Merrick Garland will make the final call.

In particular, appointing a special counsel might provide the department a degree of insulation from partisan rhetoric on the matter, considering the counsel would be separate from the DOJ's "normal chain of command," the Times writes. Garland could also perhaps choose a Republican lawyer to lead the effort, thereby appeasing GOP critics (at least to some degree). Still, special counsels are "hardly immune from political attacks," CNN notes.

We'll see what happens post-midterms. As one defense lawyer connected to Jan. 6 matters told CNN: "They can crank up charges on almost anybody if they wanted to."