Merrick Garland Names Special Counsel on Trump; Still No Special Counsel on Hunter Biden

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    Update: Garland named John L. Smith as special counsel Friday afternoon in a televised press statement. According to LinkedIn, Smith is the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division at U.S. Department of Justice — one of the most highly politicized, left-wing. departments within the agency.

    Hunter Biden acknowledged in December 2020 that he had been under federal investigation for possible tax violations. Since then, the investigation reportedly broadened to include more of his global business dealings.

    However, Attorney General Garland has declined to appoint a special counsel, despite criticism from legal scholars who say that greater political independence is needed in an inquiry involving the president’s family.

    President Joe Biden, lower right, talks with his son Hunter Biden, lower left, as they walk up the steps with first lady Jill Biden, top left, and daughter-in-law Melissa Cohen, top right, to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022. They are heading to South Carolina for a week-long vacation on Kiawah Island. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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    The Wall Street Journal reported Friday:

    The special counsel will assess whether criminal charges are merited in connection with the handling of classified documents at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and oversee key aspects of the sprawling Justice Department investigation into efforts by Mr. Trump and his allies to overturn his 2020 election loss, according to a senior Justice Department official.

    A formal announcement, which is expected by Friday afternoon, would come three days after Mr. Trump announced another bid for the presidency and would mark the naming of the third independent prosecutor in five years to examine issues involving Mr. Trump.

    Earlier this week, the Washington Post reported — nearly a week after the midterm election — that the Mar-a-Lago documents were of a personal interest and there was no indication that the former president intended to sell any national secrets. The story has largely been ignored.

    Garland had promised at his confirmation hearing in 2021 to keep politics out of the Department of Justice.

    Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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