Garland appoints special counsel to determine whether Trump should face charges

Garland appoints special counsel to determine whether Trump should face charges

UPDATE: Friday, Nov 18, 2022 · 7:31:21 PM +00:00 · Kerry Eleveld

UPDATE: Garland has named Jack Smith, the department’s former public integrity chief, as special counsel.

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed a special counsel to examine whether Donald Trump should be indicted on federal charges related to several Justice Department investigations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Who Garland will name and the scope of their examination is unknown. The move likely reflects the fact that Trump formally announced his 2024 candidacy earlier this week, and Garland wants to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, particularly if President Joe Biden seeks reelection.

But the likelihood that a special counsel will somehow assuage Trump’s cultists in any way seems ludicrous. Garland’s critics in the legal community would much rather he just proceed with making the determination himself.

Certainly, who Garland appoints could point to how serious he is about a potential indictment.

Here are some early reactions to the announcement.

Expletives deleted. Garland has named a Special Counsel to investigate Trump #MAL and parts of Jan6. I think it’s a waste of time and money, insults the prosecutors at DOJ and gains nothing. No Trump supporter will see anyone as independent or fair to Trump.

— Jill Wine-Banks (@JillWineBanks) November 18, 2022

This is giving Trump exactly what he hoped for by announcing so early, it’s cowardly, and it could backfire spectacularly. I hope for the sake of the country it doesn’t.

— Jeremy Stahl (@JeremyStahl) November 18, 2022

I support AG Garland’s appointment of a special counsel to determine if Donald Trump violated the law. During the former President’s Administration, @RepKathleenRice, @StaceyPlaskett and I were the first to write a letter calling for a special counsel, which eventually happened.

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 18, 2022

Michael Fanone, the DC police officer injured on Jan 6, wrote in his book: “Attorney General Merrick Garland, who is said to be reluctant to indict a former president, needs to grow a pair and do his job.”

— Arthur Delaney 🇺🇸 (@ArthurDelaneyHP) November 18, 2022

The key here, once Garland decides to appoint a special counsel, will be picking someone who will be able to hit the ground running and move the investigation forward without delay.

— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) November 18, 2022

Related article:

Appointment of highly regarded special counsel Jack Smith viewed as sign Trump is in legal jeopardy

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