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Garland Appoints Special Counsel to Lead Trump-Related Investigations

On Oct. 18, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that he has issued an order to appoint John (Jack) L. Smith to serve as special counsel for the Department of Justice to conduct two ongoing investigations related to former President Trump. Smith will oversee the investigation into whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the 2020 presidential election and certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, 2021, as well as the investigation into the unlawful removal of classified documents and other presidential records from the White House to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.  

Smith is a longtime federal prosecutor, formerly serving as chief prosecutor for the special court in the Hague and as chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section.

After Garland’s announcement of his appointment as special counsel, Smith issued a statement in which he affirmed that he “will exercise independent judgment and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate.” 

You can watch Garland’s announcement, read the order, and Smith’s statement, respectively, below: