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U.S. Justice Department appoints special counsel for Trump probes

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2022-11-18T19:16:33Z

Former U.S. President Donald Trump announces that he will once again run for U.S. president in the 2024 U.S. presidential election during an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The U.S. Justice Department has named a special counsel to handle its investigations into former President Donald Trump, a senior Justice Department official said on Friday.

The prosecutor will oversee both the investigation into Trump’s handling of sensitive government documents and the probe into attempts to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

This would be the Justice Department’s third special counsel to be appointed since 2017 to handle a politically sensitive case. Such prosecutors typically have a high degree of independence to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

The name of the special counsel was not immediately available.

Former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed in 2017 to oversee the federal investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and its contacts with Russia. In 2019, John Durham was appointed to investigate the origins of the FBI’s probe into Trump’s 2016 campaign.

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