Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday that he is appointing a special counsel to oversee the federal criminal investigations into former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents.
This action comes days after Republicans—who plan to investigate the grossly political Justice Department—won the House of Representatives, and over a week after Joe Biden told reporters that his administration will make sure Trump “will not take power if he does run.”
The attorney general said that because Trump has announced that he’s running for president, and Joe Biden has indicated he will most likely run again, “it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel” to investigate Trump.
The attorney general said that he would be appointing veteran prosecutor Jack Smith for the role.
“Mr. Smith is the right choice to complete these matters in an even-handed and urgent manner,” Garland said. “Such an important appointment underscores the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability and particularly sensitive matters,” he added.
AG Garland says that because former Pres. Trump has announced that he’s running for president + the current president has indicated he will most likely run again, "it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel" to investigate Mr. Trump. pic.twitter.com/PUKdZGMnuM
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) November 18, 2022
Garland said that Smith has throughout his career “built a reputation as an impartial and determined prosecutor, who leads teams with energy and focus to follow the facts wherever they lead.”
Most recently, Smith served as a chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, where he investigated war crimes in Kosovo, CNN reported.
Beginning in 2008, he worked for the International Criminal Court and oversaw war crimes investigations under the Office of the Prosecutor for two years. In 2010, he became chief of the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department, where he oversaw litigation of public corruption cases before being appointed first assistant US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee in 2015.
Smith took over as acting US Attorney when David Rivera departed in early 2017 before leaving the Justice Department later that year and becoming vice president of litigation for the Hospital Corporation of America. In 2018, he became chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, where he investigated war crimes in Kosovo.
“Mr. Smith is the right choice to complete these matters in an even-handed and urgent manner,” Garland declared.
“The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch,” Smith said in a statement following Garland’s announcement Friday. “I will exercise independent judgement and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate.”
During his bizarre and gaffe-filled press conference on Nov. 9, a reporter asked Biden about Trump’s upcoming plans to run for president again. Biden scoffed in response, and stated that his regime will “have to demonstrate” that Trump “will not take power if he does run.”
Biden added that they will be “making sure he [Trump] under the legitimate efforts of the Constitution does not become the next president again.”
Biden: "We have to demonstrate that [Trump] will not take power if he does run. Making sure he under the legitimate efforts of the Constitution, become the next president again." pic.twitter.com/iwE3hP2njG
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 9, 2022
Republicans, not surprisingly, had thoughts on the appointment of another special counsel to lead investigations against Trump.
Donald Trump runs for President and his political opponent launches another “investigation” using the power of government.
Biden wants to crush dissent.
Democrats say: Submit to our views or be arrested.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) November 18, 2022
By appointing a special counsel to investigate his boss’s political enemy, Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to politicize and weaponize the Biden Justice Department — all while Garland ignores smoking-gun evidence of Biden’s foreign corruption. https://t.co/IqVR9M88cO
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) November 18, 2022
1) GOP takes the House.
2) Trump announces he's running
3) Republicans announce investigations into Biden's business dealings
4) Merrick Garland appoints Special Counsel to investigate Trump.
It's so blatantly corrupt.
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) November 18, 2022
Insane and stupid
Attorney General Merrick Garland will appoint a special counsel to determine whether former President Donald Trump should face charges stemming from Justice Department probes https://t.co/huChkrvDOZ
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) November 18, 2022
Garland is doing this to protect himself, Monaco & others at DOJ – including FBI.
That's what this is about.
— Jeff Carlson (@themarketswork) November 18, 2022
Notice Merrick Garland appoints a special counsel for Trump's memorabilia spat but not for the Biden Family's corrupt foreign business deals.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 18, 2022