There are two reasons the newest Justice Department special counsel, again looking into Donald Trump’s malfeasance, is a bad idea. First, it’s not a justified appointment. Second, the particular choice for the job is compromised. To read the full version of each of these two columns, follow the link embedded in each headline.

Garland is hypocritical in naming a special counsel now (Nov. 21):

Attorney General Merrick Garland is acting with flagrant double standards in appointing a special counsel to investigate former President Donald Trump.

The code of federal regulations gives an attorney general broad leeway in deciding whether to appoint a special counsel. The code relies on the attorney general’s honor to ensure the leeway is used consistently. Garland may not deserve such reliance…. Ludicrously, Garland also said the appointment would make it easier for the cases to be investigated “expeditiously.” This latter claim flies in the face of the entire history of independent counsels and special counsels, which each dragged on for years in cases pertaining to Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the Russia investigation related to Trump. …

Prosecutor Jack Smith of the US waits for the start of the court session of Kadri Veseli’s initial appearance at the Kosovo Specialist Chambers court in The Hague, on November 10, 2020. –

Jack Smith will not be seen as a neutral arbiter (Nov. 25): 

New revelations about the wife of special counsel Jack Smith should be enough to force Smith’s appointment to be withdrawn.

Attorney General Merrick Garland’s judgment already deservedly was in question regarding his decision to appoint any special counsel to investigate former President Donald Trump. It is not clear at all whether a special counsel is necessary or wise. The specific choice of Smith, though, seemed not completely untoward. He has held numerous positions of distinction (not worth recounting here). And while sometimes his judgment as a prosecutor seemed less than absolutely ideal, at least he didn’t look overtly political, as he had handled high-profile cases against Democrats as well as Republicans.

Alas, even if Garland is determined to take the questionable step of appointing a counsel at all, a semi-thorough review by Garland should have made him find another person for the job. Smith’s wife, it turns out, is a hyperpartisan liberal movie-maker who donated $1,000 to Biden’s 2020 campaign and worked on a whole series of left-wing documentary or advocacy films, including a laudatory biographical film on former first lady Michelle Obama. While it absolutely is not always right to assign a sort of political guilt-by-association with one’s spouse, [in this case, it matters]….




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