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Noah Feldman

New Trump Special Prosecutor Isn’t the Mueller Sequel

Merrick Garland’s emphasis at the Justice Department has been to restore the department to its nonpartisan status.

Not Bill Barr.

Not Bill Barr.

Photographer: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

To no one’s surprise, Attorney General Merrick Garland has appointed a special prosecutor, Jack Smith, to investigate former president Donald Trump. You might think that you’ve seen this movie before. But there’s little reason to think this will be a repeat of the Robert Mueller investigation that declined to bring charges against Trump. Charges are more likely this time around — though that doesn’t guarantee they will stick.

Remember how worried we were about whether special counsel Mueller would be fired? And remember how then-Attorney General William Barr subverted Mueller’s report by misrepresenting its contents in advance of its release?