Why Did AG Garland Wait 8 Months Before He Appointed Special Counsel Smith?

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Could Garland’s unexplained delay give the presidency to Trump?

“The law is an ass” is a famous quote from a play (Revenge for Honour) published by the English dramatist George Chapman in 1654.  Charles Dickens also used the phrase in Oliver Twist (1838).

The phrase means that the law has a logic that is contrary to common sense.

This is something most Americans can recognize, and it is on full display in the very publicized and covered legal problems of the chronically accused and convicted ex-president Donald Trump.

Thanks to the long cultural history of American cops and lawyers shows on TV, Americans are also somewhat familiar with arrests and court proceedings.  Americans know that arrested and charged people are supposed to receive a speedy trial.

Therefore, it is no surprise that a recent CNN poll by SSRS found that most Americans (48%) want to see a verdict on the election subversion charges against former President Trump before this year’s presidential election; these charges stem from 2020 based on one of the most extensive federal investigations in history.

If the trial and any conviction do not happen before the election, the poll found that Trump would give himself a get-out-of-jail free from any federal crimes or, even worse, refuse to concede if he loses in the November 2024 election.

This is a big deal because, as CNN reported, “Trump currently faces four separate criminal indictments, including federal charges related to his alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.  The trial date in that case, originally set for March 4, was postponed Friday after the survey was conducted.”

Trump’s infamous goal is to manipulate and delay his arraignment schedule, which is the fulcrum of his effort to postpone his trials and appearances until after the next presidential election.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

So, since time is of the essence here, we have to ask why US Attorney General Merrick waited eight months before appointing Special Counsel Jack Smith to begin his investigation and case preparation against Trump for numerous federal charges.

Will Garland’s 10-month delay in starting the insurrection insurrection investigation give Trump the presidency?

Will Garland’s eight-month delay in starting the insurrection investigation give Trump the presidency?

This is an existential timetable that can fundamentally change the entire political structure of the US.

So, it is a mystery why Attorney General Merrick Garland waited almost one year before he appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith to begin the prosecution of Trump for the Attempted insurrection on January 6, 2021.  Smith was the former prosecutor and chief prosecutor for The Hague’s special court.

Smith was appointed on November 18, 2022, about ten months after the insurrection.  In Garland’s defense, the Justice Department was prosecuting the people who attacked the Capitol on January 6, but that is not a valid excuse.

The U.S. Justice Department is a vast organization, employing some 115,000 people, including 10,000 lawyers.  Their organizational chart includes the FBI, DEA, Civil Rights and Anti-Trust divisions, and the U.S. Marshall’s Service.

So, given the severity of the insurrection and the fact that Trump announced his intention to run again in the 2024 election on November 15, 2022. Three days later, Smith was appointed.

Garland knew the vast scope of the case and its complications.  His advisors also learned  that Trump would continue his legendary legal strategy to “delay, delay, delay.” So, getting a quick start on the historic insurrection case and knowing it would probably end up in the US Supreme Court were all flashing red lights to indicate that speed was essential.

But Garland waited, and the big question is why?

Garland was a judge and public prosecutor his whole career.  In typical cases, speed is dictated by the glacial pace of the legal system, and the federal system is even slower. But, history presented Garland with a new challenge: to accelerate a case that would determine the fate of the US democracy.

What would have happened if Garland had begun Trump’s case months earlier?  Would some of these cases already be in court?  Would Trump have run out of delaying tactics?

This is a question that should be answered by some intrepid historians and investigative reporters.

But until they provide an answer, we will never know. Garland’s biographers would have to conclude that this delay could have determined the election if Trump won.  I bet there was no reason to wait eight months to appoint Smith.

If Trump wins, historians will have to look at Garland’s inaction as a significant reason why the US democracy was shattered.  It will also decide how Garland is viewed in the history books.  Unless Garland explains why or the historians can find an excuse for his crucial delay, at best, he will be viewed as a prognosticating jurist who may have enabled a fascist president to win.

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