Former President Trump lashed out against Attorney General Merrick Garland for sending a special counsel after him, calling it “the worst politicization of justice in our country.”
Mr. Trump urged the Republican Party to fight for him and said he would not cooperate with special counsel Jack Smith.
“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,” Mr. Trump told Fox News. “And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”
“I am not going to partake in it,” he said. “I’m not going to partake in this.”
Earlier Friday, Mr. Garland appointed Mr. Smith to take over the Justice Department’s probes into the former president’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and whether he illegally mishandled government documents, including some labeled ‘classified,’ stored at his Mar-a-Lago residence.
In a statement, Mr. Smith pledged to “conduct the assigned investigations, and any prosecutions that may result from them, independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”
Mr. Trump questioned the timing of the move, which came just days after he announced his 2024 presidential campaign. He said “it was not even believable” that the Justice Department would appoint a special counsel so soon after he declared his candidacy.
“I have never heard of such a thing. They found nothing. I announce and then they appoint a special prosecutor,” he said. “They found nothing, and now they take some guy who hates Trump. This is a disgrace and only happening because I am leading in every poll in both parties. … This is the worst politicization of justice in our country.”
The former president also accused Mr. Garland of hypocrisy, saying the attorney general of intensifying the investigations targeting him, while slow-walking the probe into Hunter Biden. The president’s son has been under investigation since 2018 for alleged tax crimes and influence peddling.
“Hunter Biden is a criminal many times over and nothing happens to him,” Trump said. “Joe Biden is a criminal many times over — and nothing happens to them.
“It is unfair to the country, to the Republican Party, and I don’t think people should accept it. I am not going to accept it,” Trump said. “The Republican Party has to stand up and fight.”
President Biden has repeatedly insisted that he was unaware of his son’s business dealings.