Not only is that in keeping with standing DOJ Policy…
Under long-standing department policy, prosecutors are barred from taking investigative steps or filing charges for the purpose of affecting an election or helping a candidate or party, traditionally 60 days before an election. This year, that would be by Sept. 10, which makes it unlikely anything would be announced until after Nov. 8, said people who asked to remain anonymous speaking about potential Justice Department actions.
It’s not clear if any of the investigations into Trump will have reached the point by November that a decision on charging him could be made, according to two of the people who asked to remain anonymous. And the department isn’t facing any urgent charging deadlines that must be met before November, they said.
However, nothing stops investigators from taking non-public actions in their investigations, which could include obtaining indictments under seal.
Our Attorney General just reinforced that policy on Tuesday…
MEMORANDUM FOR ALL DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NON-CAREER EMPLOYEES
FROM: THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
SUBJECT: New Restrictions on Political Activities by Non-Career Employees
Earlier today, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Administration Jolene Lauria issued a memorandum to remind all Department of Justice non-career employees of existing policies regarding restrictions on partisan political activities and to advise you of new restrictions on such activities that I have added.
As Department employees, we have been entrusted with the authority and responsibility to enforce the laws of the United States in a neutral and impartial manner. In fulfilling this responsibility, we must do all we can to maintain public trust and ensure that politics — both in fact and appearance — does not compromise or affect the integrity of our work. It is with this objective in mind that I call your attention to the following new restrictions set forth in the memorandum referenced above:
- Although longstanding Department policy has permitted non-career appointees to attend partisan political events, e.g., fundraisers and campaign events, in their personal capacities if they participated passively and obtained prior approval, under the new policy, non-career appointees may not participate in any partisan political event in any capacity. This restriction applies to both public and non-public partisan political events.
- In the past, when the Department has further limited attendance at partisan political events during Presidential election years, it has allowed an exception for non-career appointees who had close family members who were running for partisan offices, or similar situations. The new policy permits no exceptions.
- Prior Department policy has allowed non-career employees to passively attend campaign events and other partisan political events in their personal capacities on the evening of Election Day. Under the new policy, non-career appointees may not attend partisan political events, even on the evening of Election Day.
I know you agree it is critical that we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards to avoid even the appearance of political influence as we carry out the Department’s mission. It is in that spirit that I have added these new restrictions on political activities by non-career employees.
This Investigation is still in its infancy…
That said, it’s unlikely prosecutors would have leveled charges against Trump before the midterms even if department policy didn’t bar it. Earlier this month, a top counterintelligence official at the DOJ told a federal magistrate judge that the investigation into Trump’s handling of government documents is still in its very preliminary stages.
I wouldn’t expect an indictment before November regardless of any political considerations….
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