Trump calls out AG Garland for 'inappropriately' backing Smith's push for 'speedy trial'

 January 24, 2024

Former President Donald Trump this week accused Attorney General Merrick Garland of acting "inappropriately" in coordination with the supposedly independent Special Counsel Jack Smith to push for a "speedy trial" and conviction before the election, according to The New York Sun.

The accusation came just days after Garland sat for a rare interview with CNN and seemingly expressed his agreement with Smith's efforts to accelerate through the pre-trial procedures in both federal prosecutions against Trump.

Smith has repeatedly sought to hurry up the process in both the classified documents case in Florida and the election interference case in Washington D.C., even though the Florida case involves laborious and time-consuming special procedures for handling classified information and the D.C. case is currently paused indefinitely pending appeal on Trump's claim of presidential immunity.

Garland supports Smith's "speedy trial" push, defends against critics of prosecution

On Friday, in an exclusive pre-taped interview with CNN, Attorney General Garland signaled his support for Special Counsel Smith's rapid pace and also pushed back against claims that the prosecutions of the former president and leading Republican candidate are partisan and politically motivated.

Of Smith's haste to bring those prosecutions to trial before the November election, and amid allegations that the prosecutions were specifically timed to fall within and interfere with the election cycle, Garland acted as though he was unaware of how slowly the judicial system can move and insisted, "The cases were brought last year."

"The prosecutor has urged speedy trials, with which I agree. And it is now in the hands of the judicial system, not in our hands," he continued. "Special prosecutors followed the facts and the law. They brought cases when they thought they were ready."

As for the public perception of partisanship and political motivations in the prosecutions of Trump, Garland acknowledged, "Of course it concerns me," and stated, "What we have to do is show by the acts that we take that we’re following the law, that we’re following the facts."

The attorney general also sought to explain his use of multiple special counsels to handle high-profile cases, who he insisted act independently, and claimed, "With respect to the public, I hope they will see, not only from what we’ve done but the outcomes of the cases and the way in which special counsel have proceeded that we have kept politics out of this."

Trump's response to Garland's support for Smith's rapid pace and secrecy

To say that AG Garland's commentary in that CNN interview didn't sit well with former President Trump would be an understatement, as Trump's attorneys directly called out both Garland and Special Counsel Smith in a four-page filing on Monday in the documents case.

That filing first addressed the ongoing effort by Smith to seal and keep secret from the public virtually everything filed in the case, regardless of whether it was classified and needed to be sealed or not.

Trump's attorneys then stated, "The Special Counsel’s Office chose to bring this case and has taken unprecedented steps to fuel biased press coverage and public interest in the proceedings in order to interfere with President Trump’s leading campaign for the presidency."

"These steps have included seeking the unsealing of the warrant used to raid Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 and numerous public statements about the Office’s politically motivated prosecutions of President Trump," the filing continued.

It also included the "conspicuously timed and tellingly defensive public statements by the Attorney General, released by CNN on January 19, 2024, in which he inappropriately sought to place DOJ’s imprimatur behind the Office’s untenable demand for a 'speedy trial' in this case and on the lawless charges filed in the District of Columbia."

"Although the Office seeks to strike a different tone in its January 18 filing, it is difficult to understand how the substantive litigation that is necessary to vindicate President Trump’s defenses to the pending charges can proceed in public, as required, if the Office’s general arguments regarding sealing are credited in full as the case proceeds," the filing concluded.

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