After Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith to oversee criminal investigations into Donald Trump, it was only a matter of time before the former president took on the news and new special counsel. As NBC News reported, we didn’t have to wait long.
In remarks at his Florida resort Friday night, Trump called the appointment of Special Counsel Jack Smith “appalling” and a “horrible abuse of power.” “It’s a rigged deal,” he said, referring to Smith, a well-respected career prosecutor, as “the super radical left’s special advocate.”
In comments reminiscent of his Jan. 6 rhetoric, the Republican added, “You have to fight. You have to fight. You have to be strong.” Hours earlier, Trump had said something similar to Fox News, insisting the Republican Party should “stand up and fight” on his behalf.
Ideally, at least from his perspective, the former president would help his partisan supporters and allies with talking points they could use to “fight” for him. But following the Justice Department’s announcement, Trump apparently couldn’t think of anything coherent.
“I’m not going to participate in this.” It was another part of the Republican’s message to Fox News on Friday afternoon. Nor is it really an answer: criminal suspects do not have the luxury of trying to deny prosecution through boycotts.
“I’ve been living this for six years. Trump added that whine in his message to Fox News, but it was less effective than he probably thought: Reminding us that he’s been suspected of foul play throughout his political career doesn’t help his defense.
“Isn’t this some kind of double jeopardy?” Obviously, because he’s already been impeached twice, Trump doesn’t think he should face criminal investigations on separate issues now. In related news, the former president apparently has no idea what “double jeopardy” means.
The Ministry of Justice has been “armed”. It was part of the former president’s speech at Mar-a-Lago on Friday night, and it remains both false and ironic. Trump’s efforts to turn federal law enforcement into a political weapon have been well documented — not refuted. Indeed, while the Republican peddles absurd claims about the politicization of the Justice Department, it was literally last week that Trump’s former White House chief of staff publicly complained that Trump was trying to use federal law enforcement against his perceived political opponents.
The newly appointed special adviser is “totally controlled by President Obama and his former attorney general, Eric Holder.” It was a new claim that Trump rolled out via social media last night, and it’s ugly. Not only is Smith a well-respected prosecutor, but there is no indication that he has any significant ties to Obama and Holder, neither of whom had anything to do with his appointment. It was almost as if the former president went out of his way to complain about two black men for no apparent reason.
The precedent that does not exist. At Friday night’s gala, Trump again insisted that other modern presidents “keep documents,” adding, “In one instance they had them in a Chinese restaurant with broken windows. And in another instance , they had a Chinese restaurant connected to a bowling alley. That’s where the documents were kept. They took documents with them. President Obama took documents. It was all thoroughly scrutinized and discredited.
Let this be a reminder to Republicans jostling to defend the former president: if Trump can’t think of a cohesive response to these developments, are you sure it’s wise to side with him?
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