OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump responded in furious fashion after Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to head the investigation into him.
“Here we go again! I thought that the Unselect Committee on January 6th was a dead issue, especially with the record setting loss off [sic] Liz Chaney in the Great State of Wyoming, and likewise felt that the document hoax case, after reviewing the Clinton Socks Case & the Presidential Record Act, was dead, or at least dying fast,” Trump said on his Truth Social platform.
“The Democrat Department of ‘Justice’ had nothing, except Trump haters, so they just appointed a Special Prosecutor to go after me further. Disgraceful!” he said.
The attorney general made the announcement on Friday when he named former federal prosecutor Jack Smith, who worked in the Justice Department during the Obama administration, to be special counsel,
“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he’s 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,” he said. “This appointment will not slow the completion of these investigations.”
Smith’s experience ranges from prosecuting a sitting US senator to bringing cases against gang members who were ultimately convicted of murdering New York City police officers. In recent years, Smith has prosecuted war crimes at The Hague. His career in multiple parts of the Justice Department, as well as in international courts, has allowed him to keep a relatively low-profile in the oftentimes brassy legal industry.
His experience and resume will allow him, at least at first, to fly underneath the type of political blowback that quickly met former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. It also shows he is adept at managing complex criminal cases related to both public corruption and national security – and that he has practice making challenging decisions with political implications.
The former president was not the only person who was furious with the appointment, Fox News reported.
“The appointment of a special counsel is very troubling,” former Vice President Mike Pence said to Fox News. “No one is above the law, but I am not sure it’s against the law to take bad advice from your lawyers.”
He said that there has been “years of politicization at the Justice Department,” regarding the investigations into the former president.
“There have been disclosed FBI agents falsifying documents, the FBI using a Clinton campaign-funded opposition research document to support two and a half years of the Russia hoax,” he said.
The former vice president said he was “deeply troubled” when “senior leadership at the Justice Department made the decision to execute a search warrant against the personal residence of the former president of the United States.”
“It had never been done in history,” he said of the search of Mar-a-Lago, as he said that it “sent a divisive message across the country,” and said that it “sent a wrong message about America around the world.”
“There were many more opportunities — short of executing a search warrant on the personal residence of the president of the United States to resolve the issues of classified documents that were present there,” he said.
Mike Davis, a former chief counsel for nominations for then-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and who is now president of the Article III Project, blasted the appointment as political, noting that President Joe Biden’s Justice Department remains laser-focused on Trump while refusing to move against credible allegations involving him and his son, Hunter Biden.
“By appointing a special counsel to investigate his boss’s top political enemy, Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to politicize and weaponize the Biden Justice Department, all while ignoring smoking-gun evidence of the Biden family’s foreign corruption,” he said in a statement.
“Garland announced he’s essentially giving his special counsel whatever he needs to investigate the non-crimes of objecting to a presidential election (like Democrats did in 1967, 2001, 2005, and 2017) and keeping personal copies of presidential records (like Clinton did with highly classified tapes hidden in his sock drawer), both expressly permitted by federal statutes,” he continued.
“The blatant political bias within the Biden Justice Department erodes trust from the American people that justice is fairly applied to everyone, regardless of their political affiliation,” Davis noted further.
“Like with the politically-motivated and baseless Mueller probe, Garland knows a special counsel will unnecessarily drag on and leave a dark political cloud over Trump while he’s running for president over the next two years. Garland’s third-world election interference will no doubt make his boss happy. Indeed, Biden knows he can’t beat Trump, so he’ll simply indict him,” he added.