Attorney General Merrick Garland defended the “integrity” of Special Counsel Jack Smith over his unprecedented indictment of former President Donald J. Trump, a move that has been likened to the legal process in a corrupt banana republic.
In his first public comments since Trump’s arraignment in a federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday, the nation’s top law enforcement official declined to comment on the case but insisted that Smith and his team are of the utmost of integrity when it comes to the rule of law.
“As you know, I can’t talk about the particular…particulars of this or any other ongoing criminal matter,” Garland told reporters on Wednesday.
(Video: Fox News)
“As I said when I appointed Mr. Smith, I did so because it underscores the Justice Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability,” he added.
“Mr. Smith is a veteran career prosecutor. He has assembled a group of experienced and talented prosecutors and agents who share his commitment to integrity and the rule of law,” Garland said. “Any questions about this matter will have to be answered by their filings in court.”
“My role is completely consistent with the regulations that set forth the responsibilities of the attorney general under the special counsel regulations, and I followed those regulations,” he stated.
Garland’s remarks about Smith came during a Justice Department press conference on a matter unrelated to the federal government’s war on Trump that threatens to upend the 2024 election and further undermine public confidence in the nation’s institutions that many perceive to be little more than an enforcement arm of the Democratic Party.
For obvious reasons, Trump doesn’t have such a glowing opinion of Smith whom he has repeatedly hammered on his Truth Social platform and who he called a “thug” during a Tuesday night address from his Bedminster, NJ golf club after he pleaded not guilty to the 37 counts he was charged with while the special counsel sat in the front row in the courtroom and reportedly stared at him.
(Video: Fox News)
“The prosecutor in the case I will call it our case, is a thug, Trump said. “I have named him deranged Jack Smith. I wonder what his name used to be? Jack Smith, it sounds so innocent, doesn’t it? What’s his name? Jack Smith. He’s a very nice man… he’s a behind-the-scenes guy but his record is absolutely atrocious. He does political hit jobs.”
“You take a look at this guy, he looks like a thug but then I watched him make a speech the other day and he was trembling because it wasn’t his territory,” Trump added. “He feels much safer in the inner sanctums of the Department of Injustice, where he can be in his room and scream at people. He’s a raging and uncontrolled Trump-hater…”
“Throughout his career, Jack Smith has built a reputation as an impartial and determined prosecutor who leads teams with energy and focus to follow the facts wherever they lead,” Garland said when he announced that he had tabbed Smith to go after Trump in November. “As special counsel, he will exercise independent prosecutorial judgment to decide whether charges should be brought.”
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