Just days after former President Donald Trump made his third bid for the White House, the US Department of Justice has launched two investigations that may represent the biggest obstacles to his fight against Pennsylvania Avenue.
Veteran prosecutor Jack Smith is leading both DOJ investigations as a special counsel, investigating Trump’s role before the Jan. 6 riots and whether he kept sensitive documents at his Mar-a-Lago home.
“If you start a riot by saying go to the Capitol peacefully and patriotically, then we’ve turned the First Amendment on its head,” former acting attorney general Matt Whitaker told Fox News Digital. “I don’t see this part of the investigation as having much significance or consequence for President Trump.”
In response to the special counsel, Trump reiterated the attacks he carried out during the 2017-2019 Mueller investigation, which are now personally aimed at Smith, telling Fox News Digital, “They didn’t find anything, and now they’re taking a guy.” who hates Trump. It’s a shame and it’s only happening because I’m leading in every poll in both parties.”
WATCHDOG GROUP QUESTIONS LEGALITY OF APPOINTING SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE TO INVESTIGATE TRUMP
“We’ll see if [Jack Smith] can leverage the discipline and traditions of the Justice Department and really do his job above the political fray,” Whitaker said.
READ ON THE FOX NEWS APP
While Attorney General Merrick Garland said the “extraordinary circumstances” of a rematch between Trump and Biden escalated the urgency of the DOJ cases, Trump told Fox News Digital he “won’t be engaging in the DOJ investigation.”
MAR-A-LAGO INQUIRY: PROCEDURAL FIGHT OVER DOCUMENTS CONTINUES BEFORE THE 11TH COURT OF COURT
But Whitaker says the former president may be making a mistake.
“I would recommend if [Trump] asked me to take an active role in self-defense,” Whitaker said. “The average citizen cannot exercise executive privileges, I think the President of the United States and, you know, certainly Donald Trump could, and I think the issue needs to be decided. So I think there is a role for the special master.”
“When I’m in the shoes of someone who has to prosecute a case, I want to know why, I want to understand motive, understand who the victim is and what harm was done.”
But Whitaker tells Fox News Digital he disagrees with former Attorney General Bill Barr and believes the DOJ may not have the smoking gun to indict the former president.
And as litigation with Trump heats up, the Biden administration is still struggling to get a grip on the southern border crisis.
OPINION: GARLAND’S SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE APPOINTMENT HAS TRUMP 2024 IN MIND BUT IT’S NOT WHAT THEY THINK
On Monday, 15 states filed a request to extend the Title 42 blasts before the Dec. 21 deadline, as Customs and Border Protection say an average of 2,693 migrants a day evade arrest.
“I don’t expect there to be any legal justification for Title 42. There is certainly a political justification,” Whitaker said. “This government is dying for it to stay in place no matter what they say in court filings because it’s really the only tool they can use.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Whitaker also announced that he had met with cabinet members in the Biden administration to find solutions, but those discussions came to nothing.
“I’ve worked with the President and others in the Cabinet and even with lawmakers to find a solution that addresses all of these issues. I thought we were close in the meetings we had, but ultimately nothing was done.”