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Tags: matthew whitaker | merrick garland | donald trump | indictment | jack smith | investigation | doj

Whitaker to Newsmax: AG Garland 'Weaponized' DOJ Against Trump

By    |   Friday, 09 June 2023 10:26 AM EDT

Attorney General Merrick Garland, by selecting special counsel Jack Smith to lead the investigation that led to federal indictments coming against former President Donald Trump, has "weaponized the Department of Justice beyond what was ever imaginable," former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Friday on Newsmax.

"Merrick Garland put in his hand-picked special counsel to handle this investigation, and obviously, in the case of Joe Biden, he put his hand-picked special prosecutor in that seat as well," Whitaker, who served under Trump, said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."

The regulations for a special counsel do not remove Garland, as the attorney general, from the investigative process, said Whitaker.

"If you remember when I was the U.S. attorney general, we did things by the law," Whitaker said. "We followed tradition and protocol, and we did not put our thumbs on the scale of investigations and didn't politically influence them. I can't say the same thing for Merrick Garland. He appears to be very much willing to do the bidding of the Biden White House."

The news that Trump is facing a federal indictment on several charges in connection with his handling of classified documents marks a "sad day for America," said Whitaker.

"It's unprecedented to have a former president charged federally," he said. "We crossed a Rubicon when he was charged in New York several weeks ago, and now I think this case is going to be more complex than it might seem on the face of it."

The hardest thing, Whitaker added, is that the case comes as Trump is running for the GOP presidential nominee, requiring him not only to be working with his campaign team but carving out several weeks to be in the Miami courthouse for his trial.

"I think this proves Donald Trump's point that he has been targeted with investigations and prosecutions at an unprecedented clip," said Whitaker. "It looks like this Department of Justice is just not going to give up until they believe they're going to get Trump."

Whitaker also said it's a "great question" to ask what the difference is between what Trump did with classified documents in his possession and what Biden had done.

"Remember, we haven't seen the indictment," Whitaker said. "We've heard the president's lawyers talk about what's in the indictment."

They are "very similar cases," he added, but Trump has the stronger defense, as he could have declassified the documents in his possession, but Biden, given that many of the documents were from his years as a vice president, could not have declassified them when they were removed.

Whitaker said the "only card" Biden has to play at this point to avoid trouble is that the DOJ has a policy that a sitting president can't be indicted.

"I think one of the only differences as we sit here today as to why we're proceeding with Donald Trump," Whitaker said.

Meanwhile, the judge who is eventually assigned to Trump's court proceedings will be aware of the timing involved and that there is a presidential race going on, and will be "very sensitive to President Trump's rights and First Amendment privileges under the U.S. constitution," said Whitaker.

But at the same time, Whitaker said the judge will know about the case pending in New York Manhattan District Court about Trump in connection with payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and that there are potential charges coming against him out of Georgia.

"You know the judge is going to have to navigate all of that in each particular case, and so I think it's going to be a slow train that Trump is going to need to continue to campaign and travel," said Whitaker.

Whitaker also told Newsmax that he doesn't expect speedy trials or much happening this year, "but in 2024 and especially as we turn the calendar to 2025, it could be a very busy trial calendar for the Trump defense team and the prosecutors."

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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Attorney General Merrick Garland, by selecting special counsel Jack Smith to lead the investigation that led to federal indictments coming against former President Donald Trump, has "weaponized the Department of Justice beyond what was ever imaginable."
matthew whitaker, merrick garland, donald trump, indictment, jack smith, investigation, doj
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2023-26-09
Friday, 09 June 2023 10:26 AM
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