Justice Department names special counsel for Trump criminal probes – JP


Attorney General Merrick B. Garland appointed a special counsel Friday to oversee criminal investigations of Donald Trump related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and mishandling of classified information.

The announcement comes three days after the former president announced his third bid for the White House, and three months after federal agents searched Trump’s private club Mar-a-Lago and found documents marked as classified.

John L. “Jack” Smith, a veteran federal prosecutor, will take over the highly politically charged investigations. Garland, at a brief press conference at Justice Department headquarters, said the “extraordinary circumstances” of the upcoming 2024 presidential race made this “the right thing to do.”

“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,” Garland said.

The attorney general also said the appointment would not slow the completion of the investigations, and “underscores the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters.”

Las Vegas News Magazine

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