– A special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate Trump
Jack Smith, the Hague-based prosecutor of the Special Court for Kosovo, promised to proceed with the investigations against the former president in a “swift and thorough manner”.
Three days after Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president in 2024, the US Justice Secretary on Friday appointed an expert war crimes lawyer “in the public interest”.
Merrick Garland announced during a televised address that he had entrusted this highly “sensitive” task to Jack Smith, the Hague-based prosecutor for the Special Court for Kosovo.
“Given recent developments, including the former president’s announcement to run for the next presidential election and the current president’s intention to run, it is in the public interest that I appoint a special prosecutor,” he said. said.
Jack Smith immediately presides over two separate months-long investigations by a federal judge: the first concerns the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, and the second relates to the former president’s administration of allegedly archiving classified documents.
Attorney Smith, in a statement, promised to act immediately “quickly,” “independently” and “thoroughly.” “I intend to exercise independent judgment and move forward with investigations expeditiously and thoroughly regardless of the facts and conclusions arising from the law,” Jack Smith said in a press release.
Knowing that Donald Trump should not fail to condemn the politicized justice and the new “witch hunt”, Merrick Garland emphasized the prosecutor’s impartiality.
“As a special prosecutor, he will use his professional judgment independently to decide whether there should be charges in any of these cases,” the minister said.
Affected by two investigations
The first series of investigations handed to Jack Smith relate to his efforts to contest Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 presidential election, leading up to the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by his supporters. of his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.
This extensive investigation led to the indictment of 900 people who directly participated in the violence. But lawyers have never ruled out looking at other actors. “Everyone who is criminally responsible for the efforts to nullify the election must answer for their actions,” Merrick Garland repeated.
Fierce legal battle
The second investigation concerned the White House archives. Leaving the presidency, Donald Trump took full boxes of documents. However, a 1978 law requires any US president to turn over all of his emails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives.
In January, he returned 15 boxes. After the investigation, federal police estimated he was keeping others at his luxurious Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
FBI agents conducted a spectacular raid on August 8, based on warrants for “possession of classified documents” and “obstructing a federal investigation,” and seized approximately thirty boxes.
A vigorous legal battle ensued to determine the nature of the seized documents (classified
In the past, Donald Trump has already been subject to an investigation overseen by a special prosecutor: Robert Mueller, who was tasked in 2017 to establish whether there was collusion between his campaign team and Russia.
After a two-year investigation, he ruled that there was insufficient evidence of a conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump team, but his investigation noted a series of disturbing pressures exerted by the White House tenant that they were unable to clear. He is suspected of obstruction of justice.
Then-Justice Secretary Bill Barr, a Republican, thought there was no need to prosecute him.
During his tenure, Donald Trump has been the target of two impeachment investigations: one, into “abuse of power,” over the president’s pressure on Ukraine to hand over elements embarrassing to Joe Biden; and another for “inciting insurrection” in an attack on the Capitol. He was acquitted in both cases thanks to a Republican majority in the Senate.