Attorney General Merrick Garland named longtime Justice Department prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee the investigation of former President Donald Trump.
His investigation will focus on the retention of defense information on parts of the former Trump Mar-a-Lago estate and Jan. 17. 6th 2021, Uprising.
Garland described Smith as a seasoned attorney who began his decades-long career as a prosecutor in New York in the mid-1990s. A former acting U.S. attorney for Tennessee, he led the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Unit, which handled election crimes and public corruption investigations.
Most recently, Smith served as Chief Prosecutor at the Special Court in The Hague, which investigates and adjudicates war crimes in Kosovo.
Garland said Smith will begin his work as special counsel immediately and will return to the United States from The Hague soon.
The attorney general said Smith “has built a reputation as a fair and committed prosecutor who leads teams with energy and a focus on pursuing the facts wherever they lead.”
Garland added that Smith will have independent prosecutorial judgment to decide whether charges should be brought in both investigations.
CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.