- Following Donald Trump's re-election campaign announcement, US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed a special counsel to oversee the investigations into both the Jan. 6 riots and confidential documents seized from Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
- Garland appointed Jack Smith, a former federal prosecutor who currently works at The Hague, to begin "immediately." He was previously the chief of the Dept. of Justice's (DOJ) Public Integrity Section, overseeing public corruption and elections-related cases.
- Smith, a political independent, began his career as an assistant district attorney in New York almost 30 years ago before serving as the US attorney for its Eastern District. Before returning to the DOJ in 2010, he also investigated war crimes at the International Criminal Court from 2008-2010.
- Amid concerns about the appearance of a conflict of interest given a potential 2024 election race between Trump and Biden, Garland "concluded that it is in the public’s interest to appoint a special counsel.”
- The DOJ has reportedly been gathering more information on both investigations and hopes to bring witnesses before a grand jury in the coming weeks, some of whom supposedly haven't yet been questioned regarding these investigations.
- According to sources familiar with past special counsels, Smith won't necessarily eliminate all concerns of conflict of interest, as Garland and other DOJ officials are still likely to play decision-making roles to some extent.
- Pro-Trump narrative, as provided by PJ Media. Though it conveniently waited until after the midterm elections to do so, the liberal Washington Post has already acknowledged that the Mar-a-Lago documents weren't the dangerous nuclear codes they thought they'd be. This largely ignored finding will be the first of many similar ones as these investigations into Trump, whether through an independent counsel or not, will prove to be politically motivated shams just like all the others.
- Democratic narrative, as provided by Washington Post. First and foremost, this move proves the legitimacy of these investigations. Secondly, appointing the career and nonpartisan Jack Smith was the perfect addition to an already robust probe into Trump's many nefarious activities. With Trump no longer able to cry "witch hunt," the independent investigation can now proceed unhindered.