CASES Merrick Garland announced in a televised address that he had entrusted this extremely “sensitive” assignment to Jack Smith, Hague-based prosecutor of the Special Court for the Kosovo
Jack Smith, appointed special prosecutor to oversee investigations into Donald Trump, was until then prosecutor in The Hague of the Special Court for Kosovo. — AFP
The United States Attorney General appointed Friday “in the interest of the public” an expert war crimes prosecutor to independently investigate Donald Trump, three days after he declared his candidacy for president. the presidential election of 2024.
Merrick Garland announced; during a televised speech having entrusted this extremely “sensitive” to Jack Smith, attorney based; to The Hague of the Special Tribunal for Kosovo.
Voici Jack Smith, procureur spécial chargé de superviser les enquêtes visant Donald Trump (élection/Capitole&Mar-a-Lago). Ancien procureur du Tennessee, il était depuis 2018 procureur spécial à La Haye en charge de poursuivre les crimes de guerre au Kosovohttps://t.co/HecmjOlBUc pic.twitter.com/KRcPTERcx5
— Philippe Berry (@ptiberry) November 18, 2022
Access to this content has been blocked in order to respect your choice of consent
More information on the Cookie Management Policy page.
“Given recent developments, including the former president’s announcement of his candidacy for the the upcoming presidential election and the current president’s intention to run, I have concluded that it is in the public interest that I appoint a special prosecutor ”, he said.
An “impartial” prosecutor
Jack Smith immediately takes the lead in two separate investigations conducted for months by federal justice: the first concerns the consequences of the presidential election of 2020, the second on the management by the former president of confidential documents supposed to be archived. Attorney Smith, in a statement, immediately promised to act “quickly”, “independently” and “in depth”.
Knowing that Donald Trump should not fail to denounce politicized justice and a new “witch hunt” on impartiality of the prosecutor. “As a special prosecutor, he will exercise his professional judgment independently in deciding whether there should be a charge” in one or the other of these files, specified the minister.
Presidential defeat and White House records
The first series of investigations entrusted to Jack Smith focuses on Donald Trump's efforts to challenge his defeat at the presidential election of 2020, until the assault led by his supporters against the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when the victory of his Democratic rival Joe Biden was certified. This sprawling investigation has already driven the indictment of nearly 900 people who directly participated in the violence.
But prosecutors have never ruled out looking into the matter. other actors. “Everyone who is criminally responsible for efforts to annul the election will be held to account,” to several times Merrick Garland in the past.
The second investigation relates to the archives of the White House. Leaving the presidency, Donald Trump took entire boxes of documents. However, a law of 1978 obliges any American president to transmit all of his e-mails, letters and other working documents to the National Archives. In January, he returned 15 boxes. After examination, the federal police estimated that he probably kept others in his luxurious residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.
FBI agents led on August 8, a spectacular search on the basis of a warrant for “retention of classified documents” and “”obstruction of a federal investigation,” and seized about 30 more boxes. An intense legal battle then opened to determine the nature of the documents seized –classified, personal or declassified — which slowed down the procedure but, there, still, a federal indictment remains possible.
Trump had already is under investigation in 2017
In the past, Donald Trump has already is the subject of an investigation supervised by a special prosecutor: Robert Mueller had been loaded in 2017 to establish whether there was collusion between his campaign team and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
After two years of investigation, he had judged did not have enough evidence of a conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump team, but had noted a series of disturbing pressures exerted by the tenant of the White House on his investigation and said he was unable to clear him of suspicions of obstruction to justice.
The then Attorney General, Republican Bill Barr, however, did not judge necessary to prosecute him.
During his tenure, Donald Trump was also aimed by two impeachment trials: one, for “abuse of power” embarrassing elements for Joe Biden; the other for “incitement to the insurrection” in the attack on the Capitol. It has been acquitted in both folders thanks to; the majority Republican in the Senate.