The Attorney General has appointed special prosecutor Jack Smith to investigate Donald Trump

JERRY LAMPEN / AFP (FILES) In this Nov. 09, 2020 file photo, U.S. Attorney Jack Smith presides over the first appearance of former Kosovo president Hashim Thaci before a war crimes tribunal in The Hague to face charges related to the 1990s conflict. Serbia. – The US Department of Justice on November 18, 2022 appointed the former chief prosecutor of the special war crimes tribunal in The Hague to oversee two criminal investigations against former President Donald Trump. “Attorney General Merrick B. Garland today announced the appointment of former Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor of the special court in The Hague, Jack Smith, as special counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations,” the department said in a statement. statement. (Photo by Jerry Lampen / various sources / AFP) / Netherlands OUT

JERRY LAMPEN / AFP

US Attorney Jack Smith, here in November 2020.

United States – Appointed United States Attorney General on Friday, November 18 “in the public interest” An expert war crimes prosecutor to independently investigate Donald Trump three days after he announced his 2024 presidential bid.

Merrick Garland revealed during a televised appearance that he was over-delegating “sensitive” To Jack Smith, Prosecutor of the Special Court for Kosovo in The Hague.

“Taking into account the recent events, including the former president’s candidacy in the next presidential elections and the current president’s announcement of his intention to participate as a candidate, I came to the conclusion that my appointment as a special prosecutor is in the public interest.”he declared.

Jack Smith is the immediate leader of two months-long federal probes: the first into the results of the 2020 presidential election and the second into the former president’s handling of classified documents meant to be archived.

Attorney Smith vowed to take immediate action in a statement “fast”, “completely independent” and “comprehensive”.

Knowing that Donald Trump should not shy away from denouncing politicized justice and the new justice “witch hunt”Merrick Garland also insisted on the impartiality of the prosecutor.

He will decide whether to file an indictment or not

“As a special prosecutor, he will exercise his independent professional judgment in deciding whether to prosecute.” In one or the other of these files, the minister was expressed.

The first series of investigations assigned to Jack Smith related to Donald Trump’s efforts to challenge his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, leading up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by his supporters. Democratic rival Joe Biden.

This extensive investigation has already led to the indictment of nearly 900 people directly involved in the violence.

But prosecutors never ruled out looking at other actors. “Anyone who is criminally responsible for the attempts to cancel the elections will be held accountable for their actions”Merrick Garland has said it several times in the past.

The second study concerns the White House archives.

Donald Trump, who left the presidency, took all the boxes of documents. However, a 1978 law compels any American president to turn over all of his emails, letters, and other business documents to the National Archives.

He returned 15 boxes in January. After an investigation, federal police believe he may have held others at his luxury residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

Fierce legal battle

FBI agents executed a warrant-based search warrant on August 8 “keeping confidential documents” and “Obstructing a Federal Investigation”and seized about thirty other boxes.

A bitter legal battle to determine the nature of the seized documents – classified, private or confidential – has since slowed proceedings, but a federal indictment remains possible.

In the past, Donald Trump has already become the subject of an investigation under the supervision of a special counsel: Robert Mueller was charged in 2017 with determining whether there was collusion between his campaign team and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

After a two-year investigation, he concluded he did not have enough evidence of collusion between Moscow and the Trump team, but cited a series of troubling pressures on his investigation by a White House tenant. clear him of suspicion of obstruction of justice.

The then Minister of Justice, Republican Bill Barr, did not consider it necessary to prosecute him.

During his tenure, Donald Trump has also been the target of two impeachment trials: one for “abuse of power”, worried about the president’s pressure on Ukraine to give him material embarrassing for Joe Biden; for the other “incitement to insurrection” In the attack on the Capitol. He was acquitted in both cases thanks to the Republican majority in the Senate.

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