On Monday, writing for MSNBC, former George W. Bush White House Counsel Richard Painter called on the Justice Department to appoint a new special counsel to look into the misconduct of former President Donald Trump.
Trump and his allies, wrote Painter, need to face accountability for a broad range of allegations, including trying to sabotage the USPS to undermine the election and trying to weaponize the Justice Department to stage a coup. And there is already a roadmap to doing so, wrote Painter — laid out by none other than current President Joe Biden when he was a U.S. senator 30 years ago.
"More than 30 years ago, then-Sen. Joe Biden argued persuasively that special prosecutors are needed when high-ranking officials shatter the public's faith in the government's integrity," wrote Painter. "He's president now, and his attorney general, Merrick Garland, has the authority to appoint a special counsel to investigate and prosecute allegations of crimes by Trump and others, including violations of the political coercion statute. Garland not only has that authority, but he also has the obligation. If crimes were committed, even by the former president himself, then they should be prosecuted."
"Biden need only read his own law review article to figure out what to do about it," concluded Painter. "Garland should appoint a special counsel who can make decisions independent of political considerations, whether for or against Trump. That prosecutor should follow the facts and the law wherever they might lead, focused single-mindedly on that concept fundamental to representative democracy: No person is above the law."
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