Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a former federal and international war-crimes prosecutor as special counsel on Friday to oversee Justice Department investigations into former President Donald Trump.
Jack Smith, who once led the Justice Department unit that investigates public corruption and since 2018 was the chief prosecutor at The Hague investigating war crimes in Kosovo, will be the third special counsel in five years to examine issues involving Mr. Trump.
He will lead both the probe into 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.
“The Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters,” Mr. Garland said in a brief memo naming Mr. Smith to the post.
The memo said Mr. Smith’s remit doesn’t include cases against those who were physically present at the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol. Prosecutors have already charged more than 900 alleged rioters to date, around half of whom have pleaded guilty. [Continue reading…]