Jim Jordan Grills Merrick Garland On Jack Smith’s Appointment – State of the Union

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At a contentious oversight hearing, Attorney General Merrick Garland defended his appointment of Jack Smith as special counsel for investigations involving Trump to the House Judiciary Committee.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan questioned Garland on why he picked Smith, given his past role prosecuting IRS targeting cases concerning figures now involved in investigations of the former president.

While Jordan pressed on Smith’s impartiality, citing emails showing interest in such cases, Garland maintained he was unaware of specific concerns and dismissed accusations of evidence tampering.

“There are probably other people who you would describe as independent, longtime career prosecutors. Why did you pick this?” Jordan asked. “And probably the most high profile special counsel investigation, maybe in American history, you’re going to be investigating a former president, a candidate for president and leading in all the polls, and you pick Jack Smith?”

“All the people you just mentioned were political, would be political appointees,” Garland said. “I appointed somebody who was not a political appointee, somebody who was independent, nonpartisan, with a record of career experience as a prosecutor. That seemed to me the perfect resume for making that kind of decision.”

“Did the fact that he was interested in going after the very people who were targeted by the IRS about a decade ago, did that have any influence on your selection?” Jordan asked.

Smith’s appointment aimed to shield DOJ from claims of partisanship by granting investigative autonomy.

However, it has caused escalating drama, with House committees recommending Garland be held in contempt for refusing to comply fully with a subpoena relating to communications between Biden and special counsel Robert Hur.

At the hearing, Garland reaffirmed DOJ’s commitment to upholding rule of law and not being intimidated by what he called unprecedented attacks.

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