Durbin Statement on the Justice Department's Appointment of a Special Counsel to Oversee Trump Investigations

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today released the following statement after Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations involving former President Donald Trump, including his role in the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and his improper retention and mishandling of sensitive documents at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida home:  

“By appointing well-respected career prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel, Attorney General Garland has demonstrated his commitment to avoiding even the appearance of politicization at the Justice Department. I am confident that Special Counsel Smith will pursue justice in these investigations without fear or favor, following the facts and the law wherever they lead.

“The Attorney General’s decision is a far cry from the approach of the previous President and AG, who treated DOJ as the President’s personal law firm – and weaponized the Department to punish the President’s political enemies and reward his political allies. The actions of former President Trump are exactly the kind of exceptional circumstances contemplated by the special counsel statute and we must take them seriously, for the sake of our democracy.”