Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s probe into whether former President Donald Trump, took classified documents to his Maralago home. The investigation will also include Trumps involvement into the be involving the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election.
According to US sources, Garland has picked Jack Smith, a veteran prosecutor who led the Justice Department’s public integrity section in Washington to conduct the probe. Smith served as the acting chief federal prosecutor in Nashville, Tennessee, during the Obama administration. More recently, he has been the chief prosecutor for the special court in the Hague that is tasked with investigating international war crimes.
The Justice Department described Smith as a registered independent, an effort to blunt any attack of perceived political bias.
The move, coming just three days after Trump announcement that he is running for the 2024 presidential race will likely havepolitical implications of two investigations that involve not only a former president but also a current White House hopeful.
Though the appointment installs a new supervisor atop the probes — both of which are expected to accelerate now that the midterm elections are complete — the special counsel will still report to Garland, who has ultimate say of whether to bring charges.