Special counsel, Jack Smith was appointed to lead investigations into the former president Donald Trump on November 18 by Attorney General Merrick Garland to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.
He is now assembling a team and taking on the two crucial investigations into the former president Donald Trump. The newly appointed special counsel is working remotely from Europe. Officials insist that Smith’s appointment will not cause a delay in the case, but they also admit they are unsure of when he will return to the United States.
Smith, an attorney for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, had a leg injury and is currently recovering after surgery. He was appointed on Friday to take charge of the Justice Department’s investigations into Trump’s involvement in attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election as well as the department’s inquiry into possible disclosure of national defense secrets at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida residence and private club, where hundreds of classified documents were found months after he left the White House.
In order to avoid a potential conflict of interest as Trump launches his 2024 presidential campaign and President Biden, who defeated Trump in the 2020 election, announces he will run as well, Attorney General Merrick Garland stated that it was in the public interest to assign a special counsel to handle the cases rather than Justice Department officials.
Smith has become active in the case and Garland has assured that the appointment of a special counsel will not hinder the work in any case. For instance, according to a court document filed on Monday, Smith has analyzed the arguments in a months-long legal battle between the Justice Department and Trump’s attorneys over documents taken during the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago on August 8.
Which career staff will transfer to the special counsel team may require the Justice Department to make important personnel decisions.
That means the Justice Department must decide whether it would be more advantageous for Bratt to give up his other obligations and focus solely on the special counsel. Bratt might still be consulted by the special counsel, according to McCord, if he stays in his current position.
Beyond those kinds of choices, the DOJ doesn’t anticipate Smith’s appointment to have much of an impact on the Mar-a-Lago inquiry’s trajectory. This is because the criminal investigation is already well under way, with federal investigators and prosecutors having gathered crucial evidence.
According to federal regulations, Garland has the right to veto Smith’s choices regarding whether or not to charge someone if he believes they are “inappropriate and unwarranted.” However, as McCord said, “the idea is that Smith will be directing the day-to-day of the inquiry.”
Smith was commended by the majority of his former Justice Department coworkers for being a committed prosecutor who never shied away from difficult cases, while one detective who collaborated with him on public corruption charges was less positive.
Alan Vinegrad, an old colleague, described him as “extremely talented, energetic, brave, and completely dedicated to the prosecutor’s goal.” “He’ll get fired up and put all into it.”