Trump news latest: Furious Trump denounces Garland’s special counsel appointment as ‘disgrace’ and ‘unfair’

Donald Trump launches 2024 presidential campaign

Attorney General Merrick Garland has named Department of Justice veteran and former Hague war crimes prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to consider whether former president Donald Trump should face criminal charges.

Mr Garland made the announcement at a news conference on Friday and said Mr Smith will focus on the possibility of charges voting from the investigations into the January 6 Capitol riot and the Mar-a-Lago classified documents.

The former president slammed the move as the “worst politiciansation of justice” and said: “I am not going to partake in it.”

The news comes just days after he gave an uncharacteristically downbeat speech announcing his intention to run for the presidency in 2024.

Meanwhile, author E Jean Carroll, who claims Donald Trump raped her in a New York department store in the 1990s, is bringing another lawsuit against him accusing him of battery.

Ms Carroll is bringing her case under a New York law that allows adult survivors of sexual assault a chance to file civil suits even after the statute of limitations on an alleged crime has expired.


Haberman: ‘More muted reaction’ to special counsel than FBI search

Maggie Haberman, The New York Times specialist on Donald Trump, notes: “Trump got a huge rallying effect when the FBI search took place in August. So far since the special counsel announcement, there’s a more muted reaction.”

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 9:59 PM


Capitol rioter who said he was following ‘presidential orders’ sentenced to three years in jail

A judge federal on Friday sentenced an Ohio man who claimed he was only “following presidential orders” from Donald Trump when he stormed the US Capitol to 3 years in prison.

Dustin Byron Thompson was convicted in April by a jury that took less than three hours to reject his novel defense for obstructing Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s presidential victory.

The jury also found Thompson guilty of all five of the other charges in his indictment, including stealing a coat rack from an office inside the Capitol during the January 6, 2021 riot.

Thompson apologized and said he was ashamed of his actions.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton told Thompson he could not understand how someone who had a college degree could “go down the rabbit hole” and believe “so much in a lie.” The judge said Thompson had to pay a price for a “serious crime” that undermined the “integrity and existence of this country.”

The maximum sentence for the obstruction count was 20 years imprisonment. The government had recommended a sentence of 70 months while the defense sought a year and a day in prison.

Thompson tested at trial that he joined the mob’s attack and stole the coat rack and a bottle of bourbon. He said he regretted his “disgraceful” behavior. But he also said he believed Trump’s false claim that the election was stolen and was trying to stand up for him.

Thompson was charged and convicted on six counts: obstructing Congress’ joint session to certify the Electoral College vote, theft of government property, entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly or disruptive conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

More than 770 people have been charged with federal crimes arising from the riot. Over 250 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. Thompson was the fifth person to be tried on riot-related charges.

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 9:50 PM


Profile: Jack Smith? Special counsel has extensive experience in high-profile cases

Jack Smith, the experienced war crimes prosecutor who is returning to the US to oversee investigations into former president Donald Trump, is no stranger to high-profile probes of public figures.

Andrew Feinberg profiles the Department of Justice veteran who is taking on possibly the most high-profile case of his career.

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 9:25 PM


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says of President Joe Biden’s knowledge of the appointment of a special counsel to look into whether former President Donald Trump should face criminal charges:

No, he was not aware, we were not aware. The Department of Justice makes decisions about criminal investigations independently. We are not involved… We were not given advance notice. We were not aware of this investigation.

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 9:17 PM


‘I’m not going to partake in it’: Trump reacts angrily to special counsel move

Donald Trump has slammed the appoint of a special counsel to head the investigations into his handling of classified information and the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.

“I have been going through this for six years — for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it anymore,” Mr Trump told Fox News Digital on Friday after the counsel was revealed. “And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”

Gustaf Kilander reports on the former president’s reaction.

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 9:06 PM


White House: No heads up on AG special counsel decision

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 8:53 PM


Hitting out at ‘worst politiciansation of justice’, Trump says: ‘I am not going to partake in it’

Former President Donald Trump hit out at the Justice Department’s decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee the investigations into his role in inciting the Capitol riot and over the presence of classified material at his Florida home.

Speaking to Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview shortly after Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement, Mr Trump said: “I have been going through this for six years — for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it anymore. And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”

He continued: “I have been proven innocent for six years on everything — from fake impeachments to Mueller, who found no collusion, and now I have to do it more?”

“It’s not acceptable. It’s so unfair. It is so political,” Mr. Trump said.

“I am not going to partake in it. I’m not going to partake in this.”

He added: “It is not even believable that they’re allowed to do this. This is the worst politicization of justice in our country.”

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 8:44 PM


Trump ally Greene quick off the starting blocks

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 8:20 PM


Extraordinary circumstances mean ‘it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel’

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the appointment would allow prosecutors in the cases against former President Donald Trump to continue their work “indisputably guided” only by the facts and the law.

“The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases, it is in the public’s interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” Mr Garland said from the Justice Department’s stage.

“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel .”


Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 8:10 PM


Merrick Garland names war crimes prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee Trump probes

Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed Jack Smith, a former head of the Department of Justice public integrity section who previously served in prosecutorial roles at the International Criminal Court and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, as a special prosecutor to consider whether former president Donald Trump should face criminal charges from a series of ongoing probes into his conduct.

Mr Garland announced his plans at a news conference at Justice Department headquarters on Friday.

The Independent‘s Andrew Feinberg has the latest.

Oliver O’ConnellNov 18, 2022 7:55 PM

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