DOJ officials consider hiring a 'special counsel' for 'Trump-related investigations': report
It remains to be seen whether or not Donald Trump will run for president in 2024. “Real Time” host Bill Maher fears that Trump will run in 2024, win the GOP nomination and attempt another coup if he loses — only this time, will have MAGA Republicans in place at the state level to help him “pull it off.”
If Trump does decide to run for president again, he will do so despite facing a variety of investigations — some criminal and some civil, some at the federal level and some at the state level. Trump is presently caught up in separate federal investigations from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ): one involving the events of January 6, 2021 and efforts to overturn the 2020 election, the other involving government documents Trump was storing at his Mar-a-Lago compound in Palm Beach, Florida. And according to CNN sources, DOJ officials are considering whether or not to hire a special counsel for Trump-related probes if he opts to run for president again.
CNN reporters Evan Pérez, Katelyn Polantz and Jeremy Herb, in an article published by CNN’s website on November 4, explain, “In the weeks leading up to the (midterms) election, the Justice Department has observed the traditional quiet period of not making any overt moves that may have political consequences. But behind the scenes, investigators have remained busy, using aggressive grand jury subpoenas and secret court battles to compel testimony from witnesses in both the investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and his alleged mishandling of national security documents kept at his Palm Beach home.”
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The reporters add, “Now, federal investigators are planning for a burst of post-election activity in Trump-related investigations. That includes the prospect of indictments of Trump’s associates — moves that could be made more complicated if Trump declares a run for the presidency.”
Trump is the only president in U.S. history who has been impeached twice, and if he decides to run for president in 2024 despite facing so many different investigations at once, that will also be a first. In addition to DOJ, Trump has, in 2022, been investigated by everyone from Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis to New York State Attorney General Letitia James to the January 6 select committee.
According to Pérez, Polantz and Herb, “Top Justice officials have looked to an old guard of former Southern District of New York prosecutors, bringing into the investigations Kansas City-based federal prosecutor and national security expert David Raskin, as well as David Rody, a prosecutor-turned-defense lawyer who previously specialized in gang and conspiracy cases and has worked extensively with government cooperators. Rody, whose involvement has not been previously reported, left a lucrative partnership at the prestigious corporate defense firm Sidley Austin in recent weeks to become a senior counsel at DOJ in the criminal division in Washington, according to his LinkedIn profile and sources familiar with the move.”
The reporters point out that whether or not Trump or his allies face any type of federal prosecution from DOJ will depend on what U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland decides.
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“Several former prosecutors believe the facts exist for a potentially chargeable case,” Pérez, Polantz and Herb note. “But Garland will have to navigate the politically perilous and historic decision of how to approach the potential indictment of a former president. In March, Garland avoided answering a CNN question about the prospect of a special counsel for Trump-related investigations, but said that the Justice Department does ‘not shy away from cases that are controversial or sensitive or political.’”
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