According to former Speaker of the House and current political pundit Newt Gingrich, the recently appointed special counsel who will investigate former President Donald Trump and January 6th is a “left wing hatchet man” who is in pursuit of a “witch hunt.”
Gingrich, explaining his position on the new special counsel, Jack Smith, reportedly said in an interview that “This guy is not an independent counsel. He’s a left wing hatchet man,” before going on to say that “I think the Justice Department figured out that when Trump announced for president that they couldn’t just continue the normal process, because they have always avoided prosecuting candidates,”
Continuing, Gingrich went on to say that “But what they’re doing is it absurd.” He then added that “Most Americans will rapidly figure out this is one more example of the kind of witch hunt that has been dealing with the whole process of the Trump candidacy, starting in 2015.”
Smith has pledged to carry out the Trump investigation “independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice,” but many on the right remain skeptical that he will do so. The Epoch Times, for instance, reports that:
During the five years serving as the Justice Department’s public integrity chief from 2010, Smith oversaw the conviction of former Virginia Governor, Republican Bob McDonnell, on bribery and extortion charges. The Supreme Court later unanimously reversed the conviction, ruling that the government’s “boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute” was unconstitutional.
The former speaker called Smith’s impartiality into question, citing his involvement in what Gingrich called the IRS scandal. The House Oversight Committee in 2014 found Smith to be responsible for arranging a meeting with an official in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to scrutinize nonprofits’ political activities. This meeting would set in motion the IRS’s campaign targeting Tea Party groups, which later resulted in a public apology from the agency and a $3.5 million Justice Department settlement for two lawsuits.
Garland, announcing the appointment of the Special Counsel to look into Trump, said:
“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. Such an appointment underscores the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters. It also allows prosecutors and agents to continue their work expeditiously, and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law.”
Garland added, when speaking with reporters, that “It is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution 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.”
He also said “All the career prosecutors assigned to these matters are conducting their work in the best traditions of the Department of Justice. I strongly believe that the normal processes of this department can handle all investigations with integrity. And I also believe that appointing a special counsel at this time is the right thing to do.”
Trump, for his part, raged when AG Garland announced the Special Counsel, saying:
“I have never heard of such a thing. They found nothing. I announce and then they appoint a special prosecutor.
“They found nothing, and now they take some guy who hates Trump. This is a disgrace and only happening because I am leading in every poll in both parties. … This is the worst politicization of justice in our country.”
“Hunter Biden is a criminal many times over and nothing happens to him. Joe Biden is a criminal many times over — and nothing happens to them.
“It is unfair to the country, to the Republican Party, and I don’t think people should accept it. I am not going to accept it. The Republican Party has to stand up and fight.”
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