Just after 2:15 pm today, AG Merrick Garland announced that he had appointed Jack Smith, Esq., to be a Special Counsel to oversee two Trump criminal investigations to determine whether or not the former president should be charged in either or both cases.
The two criminal investigations involve the January 6th Insurrection run by Trump and the illegal taking of classified documents to Mar-A-Lago in Florida. The announcement of the appointment of a Special Counsel came as a surprise and was not anticipated by most legal experts.
AG Garland said this decision was made because of “extraordinary” circumstances that currently exist. He cited the recent announcement by the former president Trump that he will be a candidate for president in 2024 and the fact that President Biden has stated publicly that he intends to be a candidate in the 2024 election for president as well.
AG Garland said the appointment of a Special Counsel will help to eliminate critics from calling it a “political” move. There had been public discussion that Trump may have made this announcement believing it would protect him from prosecution by DOJ and others.
AG Garland also said that the appointment of a Special Counsel would bring “independence and accountability” to the process of detererming whether or not to prosecute Trump. “It brings transparency to the matter.” Although some claim that this appointment will slow down the prosecution process, AG Garland said that it will not. That is because Smith will be overseeing the two investigations that are already well underway as well as his vast experience as a prosecutor.
However, Trump has already said this is a “political stunt.” Trump has also said: “I’m not going to partake of this.” He told Fox news: “Republicans have to stand up and fight.” However, this is a legal proceeding over which the Republicans have no authority.
Smith is currently assigned to The Hague where he has accumulated significant experience in international war crimes. Smith has also run the DOJ office of public integrity and is a registered Independent voter. He is in the process of returning to the US to take up his new assignment according to AG Garland.
One television pundit with a legal background said: “This announcement is not seen as an effort to wind down the investigations of the former president.” Another tv pundit said that AG Garland must believe there is criminal liability because he would not have appointed Jack Smith, Esq. if there weren’t. It is believed by other tv pundits that the Mar-A-Lago investigation is the more provable of the two investigations.
If Trump WERE elected president in 2024, do you think he should be trusted to handle nuclear secrets and classified documents belonging to the US?