President Joe Biden’s Justice Department and FBI have faced withering criticism from Republicans that the two agencies have been weaponized against Democratic political opponents, and an action taken by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday will only harden that perception.
On Friday, Garland announced that he will be appointing a special counsel to determine if former President Donald Trump should face federal criminal charges, just days after he declared he would run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Garland, however, did not say anything about appointing a special counsel to look into evidence against alleged illegal activities by Hunter Biden that Republicans presented earlier in the day during a press conference.
The Wall Street Journal broke the news of Garland’s decision:
Attorney General Merrick Garland will appoint a special counsel to determine whether former President Donald Trump should face charges stemming from Justice Department probes, according to a person familiar with the matter.
A formal announcement, which is expected by Friday afternoon, would come three days after Mr. Trump announced another bid for the presidency and would mark the naming of the third independent prosecutor in five years to examine issues involving Mr. Trump.
The exact scope of the special counsel’s remit and who it would be couldn’t be determined.
CNN added that “Garland plans to announce Friday that he has appointed a special counsel to oversee investigations into the retention of national defense information at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and key aspects of the criminal investigation into January 6, 2021, according to a senior Justice Department official.
“Justice Department officials have been debating for weeks whether to appoint a special counsel, CNN previously reported,” the outlet added.
Pushback against Garland online was immediate.
“Insane and stupid,” noted Will Chamberlain, a lawyer and senior counsel at the Internet Accountability Project.
Insane and stupid
Attorney General Merrick Garland will appoint a special counsel to determine whether former President Donald Trump should face charges stemming from Justice Department probes https://t.co/huChkrvDOZ
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) November 18, 2022
Breitbart News’ senior editor at large Joel Pollack added: “Merrick Garland hasn’t appointed a special counsel to investigate Hunter Joe Biden yet, but he’s going to appoint one to investigate Trump. For the bazillionth time. The same week we learned there was nothing to the Mar-a-Lago docs. What a hack.”
Merrick Garland hasn't appointed a special counsel to investigate Hunter Joe Biden yet, but he's going to appoint one to investigate Trump. For the bazillionth time. The same week we learned there was nothing to the Mar-a-Lago docs. What a hack. https://t.co/Gk3qKCPSWO via @WSJ
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) November 18, 2022