Everything that’s old is new again.
AG Merrick Garland has announced that he will be appointing a special counsel to investigate Donald Trump. It’s the Robert Mueller show all over again, except with a recast lead.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland will appoint a special counsel to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against former President Donald Trump, according to a report Friday.
News of the planned appointment of the special counsel, which was reported by The Wall Street Journal, came three days after Trump announced plans to run for president in 2024. Trump faces multiple criminal investigations.
Garland’s move could tamp down concerns that he would have a conflict of interest if he were the one to decide whether Trump should be prosecuted. The attorney general was appointed by President Joe Biden, a Democrat who defeated Trump in his 2020 re-election bid.
I suppose that in a vacuum, appointing a special counsel is the right move here. If the DOJ is seriously considering charging Trump with various crimes, then Garland shouldn’t be near that decision given his possible conflicts of interest. Remember, it was Trump along with Mitch McConnell who helped nuke his appointment to the US Supreme Court.
Still, I can’t help but feel that the double standard is too much to ignore here. Why was there no special counsel appointed to handle Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information? She had worked closely with and had relationships with many of the people who ultimately “cleared” her. Yet, her home was never raided and she never had to deal with a years-long public investigation. And to be sure, that’s the plan here. This won’t be over soon, and you can bet the DOJ has every intention of dragging this out into 2024 as a way to harm Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee.
The entire thing stinks to high heaven. The precedent that exists is that you don’t charge high-level former public officials for having classified information if they have no malicious intent to mishandle it. To change that now would be another blow to the DOJ’s credibility.
But the DOJ’s plan here is to keep this rolling, and you can bet that whatever the special counsel’s original mandate is, it will end up far exceeding it. Buckle-up because things are about to get really stupid.