Mar-a-Lago Raid Shows Need For Special Counsel

Conflict of Interest Mandates Appointment of a Special Counsel to Conduct Investigation
WASHINGTON - Aug. 9, 2022 - PRLog -- The unprecedented raid on the home of the former president - demonstrates the need for the appointment of a special counsel to conduct federal investigations and possible prosecutions of Donald Trump to avoid clear and blatant conflicts of interest, and to cease further exasperating the political divisions within the country and the suspicion by millions that the Biden administration is unfairly targeting Trump, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

The professor was instrumental in obtaining two different special prosecutors to conduct the investigations which led to the resignation of former president Richard Nixon.

Indeed, to also avoid clear and equally blatant conflicts of interest in another ongoing investigation, Banzhaf has also proposed the appointment of a special counsel to handle the investigation of Hunter Biden, including the possible connection between his activities and his father.

The regulation governing the situation provides that: "The Attorney General . . . WILL appoint a Special Counsel when he or she determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted and -
(a) That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney's Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department OR other extraordinary circumstances; and
(b) That under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter. [emphasis added]

The deliberate use of the word "will" - rather than "may" or "shall" or "should" - makes it clear that the duty is a mandatory one, at least so long as the regulation remains in force.  Doing everything possible - especially when it is required by law rather than merely being optional - to avoid any appearance of political motivation or other impropriety, clearly "would be in the public interest."

There is a clear conflict of interest for Attorney General Merrick Garland - who serves at the pleasure of the President - to investigate and possibly seek to prosecute the person most likely to run against Biden in the next presidential election.  Criminally investigating a former president is also an "extraordinary circumstance" in the U.S.; although all too common in "banana republics," notes Banzhaf.

There is an equally clear conflict of interest for Garland to be in overall charge of any criminal investigation of the President's own son, especially when emails which have been made public at least suggest some knowledge (if not involvement) of wrongdoing by the President himself; arguably, and at least possibly, the "Big Guy" referred to in the emails.   @profbanzhaf

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