The Department of Justice held true to its pattern of commitment to persecuting (if not prosecuting) former President Donald Trump while he is in office or running for it. A week didn’t pass from the announcement of his candidacy before Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that there would be a sequel to the Mueller investigation.
Garland has appointed another special counsel, this time to investigate something rather ordinary that the former president did. Jack Smith, a former Justice Department official, has been tapped to investigate Trump’s removal of presidential records from the White House, which he retained at his Mar-a-Lago home until it was raided in August. The newly minted special counsel will also oversee the DOJ’s investigation into the January 6 Capitol riot.
BREAKING: AG Garland appoints Jack Smith, Hague prosecutor and former DOJ Public Integrity Section chief, as Special Counsel in Trump probe on J6 and Mar-a-Lago documents pic.twitter.com/tjx7cxzsDH
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) November 18, 2022
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who over the past week has been aggressively selling a book that casts light on a schism between Trump and himself, has harshly criticized the DOJ’s decision to investigate his former boss.
“The appointment of a special counsel is very troubling,” Pence told Fox News. “No one is above the law, but I am not sure it’s against the law to take bad advice from your lawyers.”
He further said that this adheres to a pattern of “years of politicization at the Justice Department.”
Despite Pence’s recent denigrations of Trump’s character, he remained consistent on this issue, saying that “There have been disclosed FBI agents falsifying documents, the FBI using a Clinton campaign-funded opposition research document to support two and a half years of the Russia hoax.”
Former President Trump also gave Fox News an exclusive interview on Friday after the DOJ announcement, saying that he “won’t partake in” the investigation, calling it “the worst politicization of justice in our country.” And he hoped that the Republican Party would respond with requisite outrage.
“I have been going through this for six years — for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it anymore,” he said. “And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”
“I have been proven innocent for six years on everything — from fake impeachments to [former special counsel Robert] Mueller, who found no collusion, and now I have to do it more?” Trump said. “It is not acceptable. It is so unfair. It is so political.”
The Trump/Pence White House was hounded for two years of DOJ investigation into what amounted to hearsay. The powerful department, whose charter is to follow evidence without political motivation, didn’t seem to require any to hamper a sitting president for half of his term. Many millions were spent on a probe into spurious allegations, which appeared to have the effect of hardening Trump’s supporters. The latest move by the DOJ could have the same effect.
Harvard Law School’s Lawrence Tribe was all for the appointment of Jack Smith.
If a special counsel was to be appointed, I can think of no-one better suited than Jack Smith. Vast experience prosecuting public corruption cases, treacherous national security violations, and crimes against humanity. Absorbs complex facts instantly. Perfect for Donald Trump.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) November 18, 2022
But not everyone is impressed.
JACK SMITH-the new “special counsel” looking into Trump. I think someone should look into JACK SMITH. Who the hell is this guy? What’s up with that Purple thing? He’s TOO YOUNG and TOO UNKNOWN. He’s gonna try to “make a name” for himself by catching a Big Fish. STAY IN SWEDEN! pic.twitter.com/QyTZXU6yVz
— Greg Kelly (@gregkellyusa) November 18, 2022
The appointment of a special counsel is the culmination of efforts that have been underway since at least August, when a shocking and unprecedented show of force arrived at Trump’s Florida home while he wasn’t there.
Pence spoke to that, as well, saying he was “deeply troubled” when “senior leadership at the Justice Department made the decision to execute a search warrant against the personal residence of the former president of the United States. It had never been done in history.”
The raid “sent a divisive message across the country” and a “wrong message about America around the world,” he added.
“There were many more opportunities — short of executing a search warrant on the personal residence of the president of the United States to resolve the issues of classified documents that were present there.”
It is worth remembering that, as a congressman from Indiana, Pence served on the House Judiciary Committee for 10 years. He credibly claims to know “how the Justice Department operates.”
The DOJ defended their decision, claiming rather weakly that Trump had removed defense-related top secret documents from the White House, which weakened national security. But Pence is not impressed.
“Now would be a good time for the Justice Department to be working on restoring its credibility with the American people,” Pence said, implying that this was not the way to do it. The timing was also irksome to the former VP.
“The timing of this decision — just a few short days after the president announced his intention to seek re-election, I think that the history of it, the facts that I am aware of behind it, I think it is very troubling,” Pence said.
In July, we were told the reason there was no investigation into the Biden crime family’s extensive corruption and influence peddling. Three current or former DOJ officials said that the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office lacks the wherewithal and resources to look into it properly.
“If any single one of the dozens of issues had been alleged about the Bush or Trump families, a special counsel would have been appointed immediately,” said one of those sources.
If the DOJ wouldn’t provide its Delaware office what was needed for an investigation into such a target-rich probe, maybe it’s traceable to their commitment to spend budget on another witch hunt.
Pence, who had already decided not to testify before the Jan 6 House Committee, told Fox News on Friday that he was “very concerned from early on about the partisan nature of a committee that was tasked with examining what was really a tragic moment in the history of the U.S. Capitol.”
“And, frankly, the idea of a committee in the Congress entirely appointed by one party was offensive to my understanding of what the Congress is,” he added, referring to a panel of nine that only included two Republicans, both of whose hostility toward Trump was well established.
Pence said that “Congress has no right to my testimony.”
“I think if you consider the separation of powers between co-equal branches of government, I just think having a former vice president of the United States come before Congress to testify about private deliberations with the president of the United States or private deliberations at the White House would set a terrible precedent,” he said.
Republished with permission from American Wire News Service
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