White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that President Joe Biden and his staff were not aware of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement on Friday to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Trump and were not given any advance notice.
“I will say this and I’ve said this many times before, we do not politicize the Department of Justice,” she said.
Jean-Pierre repeated that Biden was committed to making sure the Justice Department was independent.
“That is something that the president said during the campaign that is something that the president said in his early days of being in the White House and that continues to be true,” she said.
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Garland named Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division at U.S. Department of Justice John L. Smith to lead the special counsel.
He said the special counsel would investigate whether any person illegally interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 election as well as Trump’s possession of classified documents.
“The men and women who are pursuing these investigations are conducting themselves in accordance with the highest standards of professionalism,” Garland said in a statement. “I could not be prouder of them.”
Trump reacted to the news Thursday by refusing to “partake” in the investigation.
“It is not acceptable. It is so unfair. It is so political,” he told Fox News in an interview.
Trump, who announced his 2024 campaign for president last week, accused the Justice Department of political motivations.
“It is not even believable that they’re allowed to do this. This is the worst politicization of justice in our country,” he said.
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