Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of a new special counsel to investigate Donald J. Trump, a stunning politically charged move coming only days after the former president officially declared his candidacy for the White House in 2024, potentially taking the top challenger of his boss Joe Biden off the chessboard.
On Friday, in a development that few saw coming, Garland named Jack Smith as the second special counsel to conduct a sweeping probe into Trump after the costly witch hunt undertaken by Robert Mueller came up empty and the Justice Department is clearly hoping that the second time will be the charm.
In his press conference from the DOJ, Garland justified Smith’s appointment by recognizing Trump’s candidacy as well as Biden’s intention to run for reelection and tasked the former war crimes investigator for the International Criminal Court at The Hague with carrying out the two-pronged probe into the ex-POTUS over the documents seized in a daring FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago as well as the so-called “insurrection” on January 6, 2021.
“The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” the attorney general said. “Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”
“Such an appointment underscored the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters,” Garland said. “It also allows prosecutors and agents to continue their work expeditiously and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law.”
“The special counsel will conduct parts of the first investigation I just mentioned,” he continued. “The investigation into whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or with the certification of Electoral College vote held on or about January 6. This does not include prosecutions that are currently pending in the District of Columbia or future investigations and prosecutions of individuals for offenses committed while they were physically present on the Capitol grounds on January 6, those investigations and prosecutions will remain under the authority of the U.S attorney for the District of Columbia.”
The announcement, a possible game-changer for 2024, drew a strong response on Twitter.
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
Admittedly, I know little about this so far, but the timing sure seems curious considering House Republicans just announced their plans to investigate the avuncular Joe Biden.
— David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) November 18, 2022
So Garland will appoint yet another special counsel to harass Trump while refusing to appoint a special counsel on Hunter/Joe Biden criminal investigation. This unequal application of the law is corrupt. https://t.co/DhNOMvk6fH
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) November 18, 2022
As Garland talks about January 6, this is an important clip from yesterday. DOJ has pulled attorneys off of a number of other cases to go after non-violent J6 trespassers. https://t.co/qXthxfXe2Z
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) November 18, 2022
AG Merrick Garland appoints Special Counsel to investigate Pres. Trump over classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and January 6th. Oh man are the evil corrupt swamp creatures afraid of Trump.
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) November 18, 2022
We have the most corrupt FBI and DOJ in our nations history. These two traitors belong in prison. They’re destroying the rule of law in the USA. They’re more dangerous than 1,000 Putins. pic.twitter.com/geCBXy9xBY
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) November 18, 2022
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is set to be one of the leading voices of the new GOP House majority called for starving Garland’s special counsel of funding.
“Republicans will need to refuse to appropriate any funding to Merrick Garland’s Special Counsel and defund any part of the DOJ acting on behalf of the Democrat party as a taxpayer funded campaign arm for the Democrat’s 2024 presidential nominee,” the Georgia Republican tweeted.
Republicans will need to refuse to appropriate any funding to Merrick Garland’s Special Counsel and defund any part of the DOJ acting on behalf of the Democrat party as a taxpayer funded campaign arm for the Democrat’s 2024 presidential nominee.
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) November 18, 2022
Garland’s move, which could indefinitely postpone the indictment of Trump that the left has been clamoring for, isn’t going over well with some on Resistance Twitter.
We don’t need a Special Counsel to determine that Donald Trump has committed a mountain of Federal Crimes. Merrick Garland: Stop trying to avoid looking political and INDICT!
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) November 18, 2022
A Special Counsel will convince none of Trump's cultists and serve only to slow his prosecution and jeopardize the nation.
Justice delayed IS Justice denied, in both directions.
Fire Garland. Indict Trump. The evidence is mountainous.
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 18, 2022
Some of us warned that Garland wasn't up to this. That he's too cautious and conservative for this moment in American history. The idea that a Special Counsel will appease the Trump base or rightwing media is beyond naive. https://t.co/tv6YPZndg1
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) November 18, 2022
The naming of the Special Counsel delays the prosecution of Donald Trump for likely two years.
It is a cowardly act by Merrick Garland and consistent with everything I've said about this man for a year and a half and his refusal to prosecute Donald Trump.
He waited to do this.
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) November 18, 2022
Clay Travis, Outkick founder and co-host of the nationally syndicated Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show took delight in the despair of Trump haters who felt cheated.
The left wing is savaging Merrick Garland for appointing an independent counsel to investigate Trump. This investigation will likely drag on for years and end with no significant penalty for Trump. Lucy just yanked the football away from Charlie Brown. Again.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 18, 2022
“The left wing is savaging Merrick Garland for appointing an independent counsel to investigate Trump. This investigation will likely drag on for years and end with no significant penalty for Trump. Lucy just yanked the football away from Charlie Brown. Again,” Travis wrote in what may or may not be an accurate early prediction of where it’s all going.
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