OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump has provided details on why he traveled to Washington, D.C. over the weekend, a trip that led to wild speculation and rumors.
Early Saturday, YouTuber Andrew Leydon shared a video that he captured of the former president arriving in the nation’s capital.
Most of the speculation online concerned the ongoing federal investigation into the former president following last month’s unprecedented raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate — specifically, that he came to DC to turn himself into federal authorities.
“Here’s Donald Trump arriving unannounced tonight at Dulles outside DC. Nobody knows why. He’s in what appear to be white golf shoes and a golf shirt. Gets into a blacked-out SUV. Very, very interesting,” news anchor Ed Greenberger noted in a tweet containing the video.
Here’s Donald Trump arriving unannounced tonight at Dulles outside DC. Nobody knows why. He’s in what appear to be white golf shoes and a golf shirt. Gets into a blacked-out SUV.
Very, very interesting. pic.twitter.com/cxP9ohNWVr
— Ed Greenberger (@EdGreenberger) September 12, 2022
“Something weird is going on. No one – and I mean no one – knows why Donald has arrived in DC tonight, looking disheveled in golf clothes. It could be something totally inconsequential, but something tells me it’s not,” another verified Twitter user said.
“Someone just posited he found out FBI was going to search his DC club and flew over to be there? Who knows,” they said.
Someone just posited he found out FBI was going to search his DC club and flew over to be there? Who knows.
— Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote) September 12, 2022
“I’d settle for a negotiated self-surrender to be arraigned. Probably too much to hope for,” tweeted NBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner.
I’d settle for a negotiated self-surrender to be arraigned. Probably too much to hope for. https://t.co/uFai2VSgSx
— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) September 12, 2022
“Trump is in DC for: – Jared’s speech tomorrow – medical emergency – appearing before a grand jury – surrendering for arrest – retrieving or hiding TS docs at his MD and/or VA properties – obstruct justice by meeting w/someone appearing before a grand jury to bribe/threaten them,” Cheri Jacobus wrpte.
Trump is in DC for:
– Jared's speech tomorrow
– medical emergency
– appearing before a grand jury
– surrendering for arrest
– retrieving or hiding TS docs at his MD and/or VA properties
– obstruct justice by meeting w/someone appearing before a grand jury to bribe/threaten them https://t.co/mJcyw15aJd
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) September 12, 2022
But Trump cleared up the mystery himself on his Truth Social platform.
“Working today at @TrumpWashingtonDC on the Potomac River. What an incredible place! trumpnationaldc.com,” he wrote.
Many supporters of Trump, outraged over the FBI’s raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate in August, have nonetheless predicted that soon he will be criminally charged by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department.
While that may still happen, there are not likely to be any charges filed before the midterm elections, according to a Sunday report.
Newsweek noted that the DOJ is likely to hold off on charges — if, in fact, there are any forthcoming — due to the unofficial “60-day rule,” which is “a long running tradition that the Department of Justice will avoid making any decisions that could affect how people vote so close to an upcoming election or elections.”
“As of Saturday, the November 8 midterms are now 59 days away, meaning that if the DOJ chooses to follow the informal guidance they must wait to make, or announce, a decision to charge Trump until after the elections,” the outlet noted further.
That said, Jack Goldsmith, the former chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and currently a professor at Harvard Law School, told The New York Times that the 60-day window is an “unwritten rule of uncertain scope,” and that “it’s not at all clear that it applies to taking investigative steps against a noncandidate former president who is nevertheless intimately involved in the November election.”
“But its purpose of avoiding any significant impact on an election seems to be implicated,” he added.
While Trump is not on any ballot, his influence will be noticeable nationwide in November as dozens of his endorsed candidates hope to carry on his MAGA agenda in Congress.
Trump is potentially facing a number of charges in connection to investigations into the January 6 attack, as well as the FBI probe into claims he mishandled classified documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago resort, and then attempts to obstruct the federal investigation.
There has been talk of charging Trump with crimes since he was in office. Famously, the most high-profile investigation involved then-special counsel Robert Mueller, who was assigned to look into ‘Russiagate’ allegations by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump later fired.
Late last month the Justice Department finally released a secret memo written by former Attorney General William Barr explaining why no charges against the then-president would be forthcoming from the investigation.
Previous reports have suggested that the allegation of ‘Russian collusion’ against Trump was a false narrative manufactured by the 2016 campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and in a June interview, Barr appeared to agree, comparing her behavior to “sedition.”