Donald Trump: Appointment of a special counsel to oversee the criminal investigation into the former US President

Donald Trump: Appointment of a special counsel to oversee the criminal investigation into the former US President
Donald Trump: Appointment of a special counsel to oversee the criminal investigation into the former US President

Donald Trump: Appointment of a special counsel to oversee the criminal investigation into the former US President

  • Max Mazz
  • BBC Washington

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Donald Trump announced earlier this week that he will run for president in 2024

He appointed an independent attorney as a special prosecutor to oversee the US Department of Justice’s criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced at a news conference that Jack Smith, a former war crimes prosecutor, has been appointed special counsel to oversee this investigation.

Smith will lead investigations into Trump’s handling of classified documents and his alleged role in the Capitol riots.

Trump, who has been the subject of several other investigations, has denied any wrongdoing.

Smith will ultimately decide whether Republican Trump, who three days ago announced his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, faces criminal charges.

“In some exceptional cases, it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage investigations and prosecutions,” Garland said Friday.

He added: “Based on recent developments, including the former President’s announcement that he will stand as a candidate in the upcoming elections and the current President’s intention to stand as a candidate, I have concluded that the matter is in the public interest. “

He felt this move would give public confidence in the investigation.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this,” Trump told Fox News on Friday after announcing his decision.

“They didn’t find anything. I declared (my candidacy) and then they appointed a special prosecutor. It’s a shame and it only happens because I’m ahead in every poll.”

Smith is a former prosecutor in New York and most recently served as chief prosecutor in The Hague, investigating war crimes in Kosovo.

Garland said Smith will return to the United States to begin work immediately.

Anthony Zurcher, the BBC’s North America correspondent, believes that “nearly half the country will see Joe Biden’s Justice Department move to indict a man who may face him as a suspect in the 2024 presidential general election, regardless of guarantees of impartiality.” “

“Turning this over to a special counsel and giving him the authority to do what he sees fit provides the Biden administration with at least some degree of isolation from such allegations.” He also notes that the Justice Department believes this the case is enough evidence to prosecute Trump because it could have simply been dropped, a baseless case, without taking any action.”

“It is my intention to conduct the necessary investigations and any resulting prosecution independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice,” Smith said in a statement following his appointment.

He added: “The pace of the investigation will not stop under my watch. I will render independent judgment and pursue the investigation expeditiously and thoroughly, whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate.”

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Jack Smith was a prosecutor in New York and most recently worked as a war crimes prosecutor in The Hague

Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency Tuesday night from his Florida resort town of Mar-a-Lago and was previously searched by FBI agents and top-secret documents confiscated from him. Their investigation continues into whether Trump broke the law by keeping the documents there after leaving the White House.

The Justice Department is also conducting a separate criminal investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021 riots and the broader effort to overthrow the 2020 presidential election, but these are largely being kept secret.

The probe has been described as the largest police probe in US history, but the extent to which Trump was targeted is unclear.

Meanwhile, a congressional committee was investigating the riots that saw Trump supporters storm the Capitol in Washington to halt confirmation of President Joe Biden’s victory.

The committee has indicated that the Justice Department may recommend that Trump be prosecuted for his alleged role in the riots.


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