Attorney General Merrick Garland finally broke his silence on former President Donald Trump’s indictment when he spoke to reporters on Wednesday.
Garland told reporters that he could not say much on the “particulars of the indictment. Garland added that he appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith to investigate Trump’s handling of classified documents because it underscores the DOJ’s commitment to independence and accountability.
“Mr. Smith is a veteran career prosecutor,” Garland said ‘He has assembled a group of experienced and talented prosecutors and agents who share his commitment to integrity and the rule of law. Any questions about this matter will have to be answered by their filings in court.”
Garland maintained that his role in the investigation and Trump’s indictment was consistent with the laid down regulations.
AG Garland on prosecuting Biden's 2024 opponent: "My role has been completely consistent with the regulations that set forth the responsibilities of the attorney general under the special counsel regulations, and I followed those regulations." pic.twitter.com/pag4NrTuqc
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 14, 2023
“So my role is completely consistent with the regulations that set forth responsibilities to the attorney general under the Special Counsel regulations, and I followed those regulations,” he said.
Garland, who had been quiet since the indictment, angered former Vice President Mike Pence with his reluctance to address the issue. Pence called on Garland to address the American people and tell them why the DOJ took the unprecedented move of indicating Trump.
Pence: Merrick Garland, stop hiding behind the special counsel and stand before the American people and explain why this indictment went forward. pic.twitter.com/VBDQDuQLpM
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 10, 2023
“Today, I am calling on the attorney general to stand before the American people and explain why this was necessary in his words,” Pence said in a speech at the North Carolina GOP convention. “Merrick Garland, stop hiding behind the special counsel and stand before the American people and explain why this indictment went forward.”
Pence is among several Republicans who have shown strong displeasure at Trump’s indictment. The former president, who is running against Trump for the GOP presidential ticket, told talk show host Hugh Hewitt that news of the indictment “deeply troubled him.
.@Mike_Pence: "I am deeply troubled to see this indictment move forward … Attorney General Merrick Garland, stop hiding behind the special counsel and stand before the American people and explain why this indictment went forward." pic.twitter.com/QjPfN6EPlf
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 10, 2023
Pence argued that Trump’s indictment would further divide the country and send a terrible message to the rest of the world. Pence, however, declined to confirm if he would pardon Trump if he won the 2024 presidential election.