U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday said he has appointed longtime federal prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate Donald Trump over his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection and his possession of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home.
Garland also said he will recuse himself in the two criminal probes involving Trump because of the former president’s announcement this week that he was seeking a second term — at a time when President Joe Biden is also considering a 2024 run.
Smith is a veteran federal prosecutor who served as chief of the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section in Washington. He also served as the chief prosecutor investigating international war crimes for the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“I will ensure that the special counsel receives the resources to conduct this work quickly and completely,” Garland said.
Following the announcement, Smith released a statement saying he would conduct the investigations and possible prosecutions “independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”
A Trump campaign spokesman told CNBC the special counsel is “a totally expected political stunt by a feckless, politicized, weaponized Biden Department of Justice.”
Trump told Fox News Digital on Friday that he was “not going to partake” in the matter.