Comparing the Orders Appointing Special Counsel Mueller and Special Counsel Smith
Today Attorney General Garland appointed a special counsel John L. Smith. The intent is clear: to allow the investigation and prosecution of Donald Trump to continue during the presidential campaign.
Paragraph (c) specifically references the ongoing investigation concerning Mar-A-Lago:
(c) The Special Counsel is further authorized to conduct the ongoing investigation referenced and described in the United States’ Response to Motion for Judicial Oversight and Additional Relief, DonaldJ Trump v. United States, No. 9:22-CV-81294-AMC (S.D. Fla. Aug. 30, 2022) (ECF No. 48 at 5-13), as well as any matters that arose or may arise directly from this investigation or that are within the scope of28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
And paragraph (b) includes the entire January 6 kit-and-caboodle:
(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the ongoing investigation into whether any person or entity violated the law in connection with efforts to interfere with the lawful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021, as well as any matters that arose or might arise directly from this investigation or that are within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
To make the point clear that this order concerns Trump, the special counsel does not have authority over the many pending cases of those who actually entered the Capitol on January 6. President Trump was not one of those people.
This authorization does not apply to prosecutions that are currently pending in the District of Columbia, as well as future investigations and prosecutions of individuals for offenses they committed while physically present on the Capitol grounds on January 6, 2021. Those investigations and prosecutions remain under the authority of the United States Attorney
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