November 18, 2022

US attorney-general Merrick Garland announced that he's appointing a former war crimes prosecutor as special counsel to oversee investigations into former president Donald Trump. According to reports, Jack Smith, a career prosecutor, will look into Trump's alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, and his role leading up to the January 6th insurrection.

Following Garland's announcement, Smith pledged to conduct the investigations “independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice."

“The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch. I will exercise independent judgment and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate,” Smith said.

Should Trump be worried? You betcha! Smith has quite an impressive resumé.

CNN reports:

Smith began his career as an assistant district attorney with the New York County District Attorney’s Office in 1994. He joined the Eastern District of New York in 1999 as an assistant US attorney, where he prosecuted cases including civil rights violations and police officers murdered by gangs, according to the Justice Department.

Beginning in 2008, he worked for the International Criminal Court and oversaw war crimes investigations under the Office of the Prosecutor for two years. In 2010, he became chief of the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department, where he oversaw litigation of public corruption cases before being appointed first assistant US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee in 2015.

Smith took over as acting US Attorney when David Rivera departed in early 2017 before leaving the Justice Department later that year and becoming vice president of litigation for the Hospital Corporation of America. In 2018, he became chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, where he investigated war crimes in Kosovo.

Even Jonathan Turley seems to think that this is very bad news for the one-term president, calling it a "self-inflicted wound."

I hope Melania knows how to duck quickly. There is going to be a lot of ketchup thrown at the walls of Mar-a-Lago tonight.

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