Joe Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland has named a special prosecutor to “investigate the entirety of the criminal probe into the unlawful retention of national defense information at [45th] President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.” According to the report:
Garland appointed former Justice Department official Jack Smith to the role. Smith, a former assistant U.S. attorney and chief to the DOJ’s public integrity section, will oversee the investigation into Trump’s retention of classified documents after leaving the White House and whether the former president obstructed the federal government’s investigation into the matter.
Smith is also tasked with overseeing the investigation into whether Trump or other officials and entities interfered with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election, including the certification of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, 2021.
News of the planned appointment of the special counsel, which was reported by The Wall Street Journal, came three days after Trump announced plans to run for president in 2024. The Republican faces multiple criminal investigations.
NBC News reported that the special counsel, whose name has not been announced, will make decisions for two Department of Justice investigations of Trump.
One is focused on whether Trump broke the law and obstructed justice in connection with his removal of hundreds of documents from the White House, which were shipped to his residence at Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. The other probe is related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by a mob of Trump supporters.
Garland is scheduled to make a public statement at 2:15 p.m. ET Friday.
This is a developing story and will updated when more information is available.