Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday a special counsel to oversee two criminal investigations involving former President Donald Trump.

The decision comes days after Trump officially announced on Tuesday he is running again for the presidency in 2024, in a move that many considered a strategy to avoid criminal investigations against him.

The two investigations that would be taken by the special counsel are related to Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and how he handled sensitive White House documents that should have been returned after he left office in 2021.

A special counsel would shield the Justice Department investigations from political considerations. Special counsels can be appointed for high-level investigations when there can be a conflict of interest. The appointees have greater autonomy but ultimately respond to the attorney general.


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In a statement, the new special counsel, Jack Smith, said he would “conduct the assigned investigations, and any prosecutions that may result from them, independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”

Trump attacked the announcement, calling the announcement as “unfair and political.”

“I have been going through this for six years — for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it anymore,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”

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