Attorney General Merrick Garland launched a special counsel investigation into former President Donald Trump on Friday, the week before Thanksgiving, to ensure a permanent prosecution of public enemy number one on a third bid for the White House.
The special counsel, Garland said, will take over the investigation of Trump’s purported mishandling of presidential records and probe whether Trump can be held criminally liable for the events that unfolded on Jan. 6, 2021. The former is a desperate follow-up to the latter after the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 emerged empty-handed from an 18-month investigation.
“It is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution based on recent developments, including [Trump’s] announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well,” Garland told reporters at an afternoon press conference.
Trump officially declared his candidacy to reclaim the Republican Party’s presidential nomination this past Tuesday. Just as his administration was handicapped early on by a special counsel investigation probing left-wing conspiracies of Russian collusion, his third presidential campaign has already been hit with the same playbook.
The timeline of Garland’s announcement three days after Trump’s announcement was surely a political calculation. As the Soviet-style Jan. 6 inquisition began to wind down on Capitol Hill with nothing to show this summer, Garland personally signed off on an unprecedented raid of a former president.
Garland sent more than 30 plain clothes FBI agents to search Trump’s Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago over alleged violations of the Presidential Records Act, a rarely prosecuted statute now being weaponized to prosecute political opponents. The entire investigation was set in motion by a disgruntled bureaucrat at the National Archives and Records Administration. The Justice Department alleged that Trump illegally took classified documents with him to Florida after he left the White House last year.
All Americans want — and deserve — is an attorney general who cares about the law. Garland, however, is far from it. Look no further than his refusal to appoint a special prosecutor on Hunter Biden, whose father, serving as president, presents a legitimate conflict of interest worthy of an independent probe. Garland is a political activist with an axe to grind after his 2016 Supreme Court nomination was thwarted by the man he’s now pledged to prosecute to the ends of the Earth.
The appointment of a second special counsel to sic on Trump is the natural response of a Democrat to the ex-president’s pursuit of a second term. The Russia hoax failed. The impeachment over a fabricated scandal in Ukraine failed. Prosecution over the Emoluments Clause failed, and the Jan. 6 Committee failed to serve the long-sought indictment that’s become the top item on the Democrats’ policy agenda for six years.
Now that the Select Committee’s days are numbered with an incoming Republican majority, Garland’s move to bring a special counsel into the mix is a move to cement the Jan. 6 inquiry into a forever investigation. But while the panel admitted their investigation was all about last week’s midterms in March, Garland is pretending his department’s politized investigations are all about public integrity.
“Such an appointment underscores the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters,” Garland said Friday. “It also allows prosecutors and agents to continue their work expeditiously and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law.”
Had Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate Hunter Biden, the attorney general might have a leg to stand on. Instead, the nation’s chief law enforcement official has spent the last two years covering for the incumbent Democratic president while dispatching agents on political enemies, including parents concerned over inappropriate content presented in their children’s classrooms.