Attorney General Merrick Garland Appoints Former Director of Justice Department integrity director Jack Smith next Friday Oversaw Justice Department criminal investigations involving former President Donald Trump.
Smith will oversee departmental investigations into possible mishandling of classified documents and presidential records at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate, as well as key aspects of the Jan. 6 investigation. of Ministry.
“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the incumbent president’s intention to become a candidate, I concluded that the appointment of a particular position was in the common good”. advisor,” Garland said at a news conference.
“Such an appointment underscores the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters. It also allows prosecutors and special agents to continue their work with integrity. quickly and make decisions based solely on facts and the law indisputably.”
Garland’s decision comes three days after Trump announced that he would Run for re-election to the White Houseand after the Republican Party won a majority in the House of Representatives in the next Congress.
“I strongly believe that this Department’s normal processes can handle all investigations with integrity. And I also believe it is appropriate to appoint a Special Counsel at this time. should do,” said Garland. “The exceptional circumstances presented here require it. Mr. Smith is the right choice to get these matters done fairly and urgently.”
Smith’s prosecutor’s career
Smith was most recently chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague charged with investigating and prosecuting war crimes in Kosovo.
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He joined the Department of Justice in 1999 as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. He moved to the International Criminal Court in 2008, overseeing all War Crimes The investigation was conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office, before assuming the Ministry of Justice’s public integrity post in 2010.
“I intend to conduct the designated investigations, and any prosecution that may result from them, independently and in the best tradition of the Department of Justice,” Smith said. in a statement released after he was publicly named.
“The pace of the investigations will not pause or accelerate under my supervision. I will exercise independent judgment and will push the investigations forward quickly and thoroughly regardless of the outcome. what the truth and the law dictate.”
Trump opposes continuing investigation
Trump mentioned the appointment of the special counsel during an event Friday night at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. He called the investigation a “hoax” and a “witch hunt”, echoing language he had used in previous investigations, including his two impeachment proceedings. ta.
He also ticked off various topics of the day, including naming figures in the Biden Administration without announcing any specific actions or planned responses he had to special advisor.
During Trump’s presidency, special counsel Robert Mueller investigated possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential race.
Mueller found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and Trump himself was not charged. But Mueller has brought indictments against more than 30 people and three companies.
He has won convictions or guilty pleas from eight Trump associates, including former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort as well as Trump’s longtime unofficial adviser, Roger Stone.
Later, Trump’s eventual attorney general, William Barr, appointed special counsel John Durham to investigate possible wrongdoing by the FBI and others in the Russia investigation.
Durham lost the only two cases he brought to trial. He received a guilty plea from a low-level FBI attorney who admitted to altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant against a former Trump campaign adviser.