DOJ Appoints Special Counsels For Trump’s Mar-a-Lago And January 6 criminal Investigations

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel on Friday to lead the criminal investigations into the storage of sensitive national security material at the Mar-a-Lago estate of former President Donald Trump and specific aspects of the uprising on January 6, 2021.

Trump, who said on Tuesday that he would run for president in 2024, is a potential competitor of Joe Biden in both probes due to his actions.

“I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel,” Garland said at the Justice Department on Friday. “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.”

The investigations will be led by Jack Smith, a former top prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, where he looked into war crimes in Kosovo. According to Garland, Smith “has established a reputation as an objective and tenacious prosecutor.”

Trump has attempted to portray the inquiries as politically motivated, especially during his announcement of his candidacy on Tuesday, where he said he was a victim of the “weaponization” of the legal system.

The former president described the special counsel appointed as an “appalling announcement” and a “horrendous abuse of power” while speaking at the America First dinner on Friday night at Mar-a-Lago.

DOJ Appoints Special Counsels For Trump
DOJ Appoints Special Counsels For Trump

The FBI’s August search of Trump’s Florida club following a search warrant brought the Mar-a-Lago investigation into the spotlight. Trump moved to court to obtain a ruling mandating a third attorney to examine the evidence gathered during the search. An appellate judge removed classified documents from that review, allowing their use in the criminal investigation. Additionally, investigators testified before a federal grand jury in the research appointed in Washington, DC.

The Justice Department’s investigation started on January 6, but the prosecutions of those who physically entered the US Capitol have received the most attention. The US Attorney’s office will continue to handle these cases in Washington, DC. However, behind the scenes, the investigation’s prosecutors have subpoenaed many witnesses connected to the former president for records and testimony.

In a statement released Friday, Smith stated, “I intend to undertake the assigned investigations, including any prosecutions that may follow from them, independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.” “Under my direction, the investigations’ speed won’t slow down or falter. I’ll use my discretion, do the studies quickly and carefully, and arrive at whatever conclusion the evidence and the law require.

Investigations heating up

The Mar-a-Lago inquiry and the January 6 probe into Trump are reportedly working on compiling more data and presenting witnesses to a federal grand jury in the coming weeks. Recently, prosecutors issued several fresh subpoenas about both cases, some of which had immediate return deadlines as early as next week.

Some sources claim that some of the witnesses sought in this round have never previously spoken with the detectives working on these cases.

As they hadn’t heard from the Justice Department in weeks after meeting their subpoena document deadlines, many in Trump’s orbit had believed and hoped that the probe had slowed or perhaps stopped, according to various individuals.

Some of the subpoenas issued in the investigation suggest a thorough examination that covers almost every facet of the attempts to reverse Biden’s electoral triumph. They indicated that investigators are interested in the scheme to present phony electors in states Biden won, the work done by Trump loyalists to advance flimsy allegations of electoral fraud, and the money that flowed to support those multiple initiatives.

According to numerous sources familiar with the discussions, Trump’s team had recently debated whether the Justice Department would establish a special counsel.

Trump’s attorneys feared the possibility because they were worried it might prolong the probe they have been battling nonstop in court. Trump has also voiced his displeasure about the situation, comparing the case to the former special prosecutor Robert Mueller, who oversaw the Russia probe.

On Friday, the former president claimed that up until Garland’s statement, he had thought the government inquiries into him were winding down or finished. He constantly referred to the probes as political, said that the situation was unfair, and predicted that the investigation would also be unfair, telling the crowd at Mar-a-Lago, “You’d truly say enough is enough.”

According to a recent CNN report, Justice Department officials had been deliberating for weeks whether or not to name a special counsel.


Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate the retention of national defense material at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and the January 6, 2021 rebellion.

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