War crimes prosecutor appointed to investigate Trump

US President Joe Biden said he was not notified “in advance” of the Justice Minister’s decision to appoint an independent prosecutor.

The United States Minister of Justice announced Friday, November 18 the appointment of an independent prosecutor to oversee the investigations concerning Donald Trump, three days after his declaration of presidential candidacy of 2024.”Given recent developments, including the announcement of the former president’s candidacy for the next presidential election and the current president’s intention to run, I have decided that it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor“said Merrick Garland during a press conference. He entrusted this mission to Jack Smith, ex-prosecutor based in The Hague of the Special Court for Kosovo.

I intend to exercise independent judgment and will move the investigations forward in a prompt and thorough manner regardless of the conclusions that will arise from the facts and the law.“, assured Jack Smith in a press release. Donald Trump denounced in stride “the worst politicization of justice” of American history adding that he would not participate in the investigations. “It’s shameful they’re doing this just because I’m ahead in the polls,” continued the former president who announced his candidacy for the presidency of 2024 three days ago.

“Witch hunt”

The special prosecutor “will not investigate impartially”accused Donald Trump on Friday. “This terrible abuse of power is the latest in a long series of witch hunts that began a long time ago”continued the former president during a speech at his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. “I’ve had these investigations, this comedy and these scams since the day I got off the escalator at Trump Tower”lambasted Donald Trump. “We cannot allow this horrific abuse to continue”he added.

US President Joe Biden, assured him, not to have been warned “in advance” of the Minister of Justice’s decision to appoint an independent prosecutor. “We were not warned in advance”White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, adding that the president was not “involved” in the decision.

US Justice Secretary Merrick Garland on Friday appointed an expert war crimes prosecutor to independently investigate the Republican billionaire, three days after he declared his 2024 presidential candidacy. The billionaire is currently the target of two separate investigations of federal justice. The first relates to the assault led by his supporters against the Capitol on January 6, 2021 at the time of the certification of the victory of his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the presidential election of 2020. This sprawling investigation led to the indictment of nearly 900 people who directly participated in the violence. But prosecutors have never ruled out looking at other actors. “Everyone who is criminally responsible for efforts to annul the election will be held accountable“said Merrick Garland several times.

Intense legal battle

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 Mar-a-Lago, Florida residence. FBI agents conducted a spectacular search there on August 8 on the basis of a warrant for “retention of classified documents” and “obstructing a federal investigation», and seized about thirty other boxes.

An intense legal battle then opened to determine the nature of the documents seized (classified? personal? declassified?) which slowed down the procedure but, here again, a federal indictment remains possible. In the past, Donald Trump has already been the subject of an investigation supervised by a special prosecutor: Robert Mueller was tasked in 2017 with establishing whether there had been collusion between his campaign team and Russia.

After two years of investigation, he had judged not to have enough evidence of a plot 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 was said to be unable to clear him of the suspicions of obstruction of justice. The Minister of Justice at the time, Republican Bill Barr, however, did not consider it necessary to prosecute him.

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