Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker doesn’t believe former President Donald Trump will be indicted, despite two Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations — both headed by veteran prosecutor Jack Smith as a special counsel — into Trump’s actions prior to the events of January 6 and whether he held onto sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago.
“If you’re inciting a riot by saying go peacefully and patriotically to the Capitol, then, you know, we have turned the First Amendment upside down on its head,” Whitaker told Fox News Digital. “I don’t see that part of the investigation being of much concern or consequence to President Trump.”
(Video: Fox News Digital)
In the wake of Trump’s announcement that he is again making a run for the White House, and as Republicans prepare to reclaim control of the House of Representatives in January, the DOJ has increased its efforts to find some charge that will stick to the MAGA King, but Whitaker doesn’t think they’ll get there on the Jan. 6 story.
The documents seized at Mar-a-Lago, however, may pose more of a problem.
“This classified document investigation certainly, you know, appears to be a little more serious,” Whitaker cautioned.
For Trump’s part, he is essentially leveling the same accusations against Smith as he did during the two-year-long Meuller probe saga.
“They found nothing, and now they take some guy who hates Trump,” he told Fox News Digital. “This is a disgrace and only happening because I am leading in every poll in both parties.”
Whitaker remains skeptical.
“We’ll see if [Jack Smith] can use the discipline and the traditions of the Department of Justice and, you know, do his job really above the political fray,” he said.
As BizPac Review reported, Attorney General Merrick Garland cited “extraordinary” circumstances when he announced the appointment of Smith — a former war crimes investigator for the International Criminal Court at The Hague — as special counsel.
“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,” he said at the press conference. “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.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 19, 2022
In response, Trump told Fox News Digital that he would “not partake” in the investigations.
It’s not the approach Whitaker would recommend.
“I would recommend if [Trump] asked me that he should take an active role in defending himself,” he said. “The average citizen can’t exert executive privilege, I think the president of the United States and, you know, certainly Donald Trump could, and I think that issue needs to be adjudicated. So I think there is a role for the special master.”
“If I’m sitting in the shoes of somebody that needs to indict a case, I want to know the why,” he added. “I want to understand the motive, understand who’s the victim and what damage has been done.”
But, while Trump’s now infamous former Attorney General Bill Barr believes the DOJ has the goods, Whitaker doesn’t think Trump will be perp-walked anytime soon.
“I don’t have any reason to believe there’s enough evidence to indict President Trump,” he said. “I don’t think, ultimately, he gets indicted.”
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