Trump lashes out at new probe
Former US President Donald Trump has condemned the Department of Justice after it launched a new probe into potential misconduct, insisting the “corrupt and highly political” agency is abusing its power.
Speaking during an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida on Friday night, Trump took the DOJ to task after Attorney General Merrick Garland said he would appoint a new special counsel to investigate the ex-commander-in-chief in relation to the riot at the US Capitol last year and the alleged presence of classified documents at Trump’s personal residence.
“I want to address the appalling announcement today by the egregiously corrupt Biden administration and their weaponized Department of Justice,” he told the crowd. “This horrendous abuse of power is the latest in the long series of witch hunts.”
While Trump said he thought previous investigations into the Capitol riot and “the document hoax” were already “dead,” he added: “the corrupt and highly political Justice Department just appointed a super radical left special counsel… to start the process all over again.”
Garland said he appointed “veteran career prosecutor” Jack Smith to investigate any potential wrongdoing by Trump, noting he would be authorized to prosecute “any federal crimes that may arise from those investigations.”
In earlier comments to Fox News, Trump suggested the new probe may be related to his recently announced candidacy in the 2024 presidential race, but went on to tell supporters at Mar-a-Lago that the decision may have been prompted by pledges by some Republicans to investigate President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, whose foreign business dealings have come under scrutiny in the past.
“The House Republicans announced they were going to investigate the Bidens, and the Justice Department announces right after that, they’re going to investigate Trump,” he said, referring to himself in the third-person. The former president predicted the probe would be a “rigged deal,” adding: “It’s not a fair situation.”
Following two separate impeachment trials and countless smaller controversies while he was still in office, the FBI raided Trump’s Florida residence in early August, claiming he had improperly taken classified government documents. Democrats have also accused the ex-president of “inciting” the Capitol riot – with many describing it as an “insurrection” intended to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election – and have pursued investigations into that incident as well.