Garland Appoints Special Counsel to Handle Trump Investigations

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a veteran war crimes prosecutor as special counsel to head up investigations concerning former President Donald Trump.


Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith, a veteran war crimes prosecutor, as special counsel to head up the Justice Department investigations concerning former President Donald Trump.

  • Smith will oversee inquiries into Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home and his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. 
  • Special counsels are prosecutors appointed to investigate cases where the Justice Department perceives there may be a conflict of interest or if it’s deemed worthwhile for an independent investigator to take over the investigation. 
  • Trump called the appointment a “rigged deal” and a “horrendous abuse of power,” while President Joe Biden did not respond to questions about the appointment at his lone public appearance on Friday. 
  • Jack Smith served as a prosecutor in New York and at The Hague before being brought on to clean up the Justice Department’s beleaguered Public Integrity Unit, which investigates public corruption, in 2010. Most recently, Smith served as chief prosecutor for a special court in The Hague investigating war crimes committed in Kosovo.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • CNN published a “fact check” on Trump’s response to the special counsel’s appointment. According to CNN, the former President made a series of “false and thoroughly debunked claims about how other ex-presidents handled official records.” 
  • NBC News profiled Jack Smith, the new special prosecutor. Smith has had an extensive legal career with stints as a state and federal prosecutor, corporate attorney, and as a war crimes prosecutor. 
  • The New York Times reported Garland felt the need to appoint a special prosecutor due to the political plans of both Trump and his boss, President Biden, to seek the White House in 2024.


  • National Review’s Andy McCarthy wrote on the “ironic” nature of the special counsel. The ironies abound because “the politics are upside-down. The Democrats’ incentive is not to prosecute Trump; it is to make sure he is not prosecuted — at least as long as he is a viable candidate for the Republican nomination” – because Democrats want to run against Trump.
  • The White House insisted they had no knowledge of Garland’s decision to appoint a special counsel according to Breitbart. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted that the Biden Administration would not “politicize” the Justice Department.
  • Per The Washington Examiner, former Attorney General William Barr believes the special counsel “likely has a legitimate basis for indicting former President Donald Trump,” Barr’s former boss.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022