Urgent Special Counsel To Investigating Donald Trump Crimes Under Consideration At DOJ

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According to a new report from CNN, officials at the Justice Department have considered the selection of a special counsel to lead investigations into Trump including the classified documents probe and the examination of efforts after the last presidential election to meddle with its outcome. There has been no final decision.

Presumably, the selection of a special counsel would have to be done at the highest levels of the department. Picking a special counsel could, in theory, help with transparency and allegations of political interference in decision-making surrounding a former president and his associates — although that might obviously be a vastly over-generous estimation. Robert Mueller, experience in law enforcement and all, certainly didn’t avoid feverish accusations of politically oriented misconduct as he led an investigation into potential Russian influence on U.S. politics. A report in Bloomberg already said certain prosecutors concluded they had enough evidence to charge Trump with obstruction related to the documents investigation, although they hadn’t made a formal recommendation. Reports have credited Attorney General Merrick Garland with responsibility for potentially deciding on any criminal charges for Trump.

Trump and certain allies of his have relied in part on the argument that scrutinized documents he harbored at Mar-a-Lago even after a federal subpoena demanding their return were declassified, but the classification status doesn’t matter to issues like the national security implications of leaking the material and potential obstruction.

In March, CNN says Garland didn’t directly answer a question about selecting a special counsel to oversee investigative work related to Trump, although he spoke in broad terms about the Justice Department’s interest under his leadership in pursuing cases regardless of the political ramifications. The department, he said, doesn’t “shy away from cases that are controversial or sensitive or political.” Such cases could, of course, include charges against allies of Trump, whether that’s someone like Jeffrey Clark, the now former Justice Department official Trump considered making Attorney General, or John Eastman, the outside lawyer who has helped spread election-related baloney.

The Justice Department, which is also working on cases against hundreds of individual participants in last year’s Capitol chaos, is also adding to its ranks, including with David Rody. Rody was described by CNN as “a prosecutor-turned-defense lawyer who previously specialized in gang and conspiracy cases and has worked extensively with government cooperators.” Rody’s newly established work at the department, where he is a senior counsel in the Criminal Division, deals with the Trump probes. There could also be charges in the near future from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s investigation into pro-Trump election meddling in her home state of Georgia. Rudy Giuliani, a longtime ally of the former president, is among those who have been named as targets, meaning criminal charges are possible.