Pompeo says Trump’s special counsel ‘saddened’ him, asks DOJ to deliver ‘apolitical justice’

First on Fox: Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticized the Justice Department for appointing a special counsel to investigate former President Trump, saying the decision “sad” him, while calling on the DOJ to “do its job” and “do apolitical justice”. requested to give

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday appointed former Justice Department official Jack Smith to the role of special counsel to lead a thorough investigation into the criminal investigation into the retention of the president’s records held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Smith will also oversee the DOJ’s investigation into the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

AG Garland named special counsel to probe Trump on Mar-a-Lago documents, Jan. 6

“They’ve been investigating this for an awful long time,” Pompeo told Fox News Digital during an interview on the sidelines of the Republican Jewish Coalition annual convention in Las Vegas on Friday. “Now to assign this to a special counsel who is likely to continue to investigate this for a long time – makes no sense to me.”

FBI agents seized classified records, some of which were marked top secret, from the former Trump home at Mar-a-Lago during the agency’s unprecedented raid on August 8, according to the warrant and property receipt. Trump and his legal team have said that records kept at Mar-a-Lago were declassified when Trump was in the White House. The Justice Department argues that Trump illegally retained national defense information at his home.

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sits for an interview with Fox News Digital during the Republican Jewish Coalition's annual leadership meeting on November 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sits for an interview with Fox News Digital during the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting on November 18, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada
(Fox News)

But Pompeo told Fox News Digital Friday that he “didn’t like having special counselors in the first place.”

Trump says he ‘will not participate’ in special adviser probe, calls it ‘politicization of justice at its worst’

“I think if you’re going to prosecute, that’s the responsibility of the Justice Department,” Pompeo, who is a Fox News contributor, said. “It’s up to the executive branch to delegate this responsibility to someone who has a quote independent end quote—this strikes me as inconsistent with our country’s understanding of how we actually exercise power.”

He added: “So it saddens me that they made that choice. We’ll see how it goes from here.”

  Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the Justice Department's investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump's Florida estate and aspects of a separate investigation related to the January 6 insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election Jack Smith as special counsel.  Department of Justice in Washington, Friday, November 18, 2022.

Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the Justice Department’s investigation into the presence of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate and aspects of a separate investigation related to the January 6 insurrection and efforts to undo the 2020 election Jack Smith as special counsel. Department of Justice in Washington, Friday, November 18, 2022.
(AP)

With regard to the timing of the special counsel’s appointment, Pompeo pointed to Attorney General Garland’s comments just days after Trump announced he would run for president again in 2024.

Trump on target: A look at the investigation involving the former president; From Russia to Mar-a-Lago

“I think if I get the attorney general right, what they did was because of the announcement that the president made, at least in part, that was because President Biden indicated that he was going to run , and President Trump has now announced his candidacy, and so he said, well, now we have a conflict,” Pompeo said.

“Do your job,” Pompeo said. “As for the DOJ, they should do their job. If they’ve got what they think they should be prosecuting, bring it on.”

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas.
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“If you don’t, you shouldn’t go after it – then you can’t give what you’re supposed to give, which is apolitical justice.”

Pence calls appointment of special counsel to investigate Trump ‘very troubling’

Meanwhile, Trump told Fox News on Friday after the Justice Department announced he “will not participate” in the investigation, and urged the Republican Party to act, calling it “the worst politicization of justice in our country.”

Trump told Fox News Digital in an exclusive interview on Friday shortly after the announcement, “I’ve been going through this for six years — six years I’ve been going through this and I’m not going to go through this anymore.” “And I hope Republicans have the courage to fight it.”

“I’ve been proven innocent for six years on everything from fake impeachment [former special counsel Robert] Mueller, who found no collusion, and now I have to do more?” Trump said. “This is not acceptable. it’s so unfair. It’s too political.”

“I’m not going to participate in this,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “I will not participate in this.”

Trump, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign on Tuesday, said it “isn’t even believable.”

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