Former President Donald Trump said that he will not partake in an investigation after the Department of Justice (DOJ) appointed a special counsel to take over a probe related to presidential records that were held by Trump.
“I have been going through this for six years—for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it anymore,” Trump told Fox News on Friday after Attorney General Merrick Garland’s announcement about the special counsel. “And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”
Garland said he appointed Jack Smith, the DOJ’s former public integrity chief, to oversee the agency’s investigations into Trump, including whether he mishandled documents as well as aspects of the probe into the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.
“Based on recent developments,” Garland said, “including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”
But Trump said that previous investigations have turned up nothing and said Garland’s announcement is politicized. The former president announced his candidacy for president in 2024 on Tuesday night.
“I am not going to partake in it,” Trump told Fox News. “I’m not going to partake in this.”
“I have never heard of such a thing. They found nothing. I announce and then they appoint a special prosecutor. They found nothing, and now they take some guy who hates Trump,” he said, apparently referring to Smith. “This is a disgrace and only happening because I am leading in every poll in both parties.”
Trump added Friday “every other president took records, and they (the DOJ) didn’t do anything about it.” It came about three months after the unprecedented FBI raid targeting Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in which agents took allegedly classified records, although few details have been publicly disclosed about the case since late September.