(RightWing.org) – Donald Trump’s federal prosecutions are increasingly impacting his ability to participate to the fullest in his 2024 presidential campaign. Iowa Republicans held their caucus on January 15, and New Hampshire on January 23. The Republican National Convention is less than six months away. The former president has asked the courts for delays until after the November election, to no avail. Amid this concern, Attorney General Merrick Garland recently spoke about the former president’s upcoming trial in Washington, DC, and — go figure — the AG said he supports it.
On January 19, CNN Senior Justice Correspondent Evan Pérez talked to Garland about public confidence in the Department of Justice (DOJ). Pérez began by noting that recent polling showed that roughly 75% of Republican voters believed the DOJ is targeting Trump for “political reasons.” He also pointed out that the first of two federal trials was scheduled to begin in March.
Pérez asked Garland if that “public perception” concerned him and what he could do to change their lack of confidence in the department.
“Of course it does,” Garland responded, referring to the lack of public faith. He said DOJ officials needed to show the public through the “acts” they take that prosecutors were “following the law” and the “facts” surrounding those cases.
BREAKING: In @CNN interview, President Biden Attorney General Merrick Garland says he agrees with Special Counsel Jack Smith that a 'speedy trial' of Donald Trump is needed because the public has the right to know. WATCH pic.twitter.com/Cd03APItsY
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) January 19, 2024
Garland reminded viewers that both federal prosecutions were brought against Trump in 2023. He said Special Prosecutor Jack Smith had maintained “from the beginning” that “public interest requires a speedy trial.” He also said he supports that position.
“You do?” Pérez responded.
Garland responded, “I do,” adding the court schedule was no longer up to prosecutors. “The matter is now in the hands of a trial judge,” he explained.
Pérez followed up by asking Garland if he had a date in mind when to halt Trump’s trials to avoid interfering with the upcoming election as a longstanding DOJ policy dictates. Garland dodged the question by referring to his previous explanation that the prosecutions started in 2023, Smith pushed for speedy trials — “with which I agree” — and trial dates are “now in the hands of the judicial system.”
The CNN co-host concluded the interview by asking Garland if he thought the DOJ took too long to bring those cases against Trump. The AG said special prosecutors follow the facts and the law and bring cases before grand juries when they’re “ready.”
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