Updated Jun 9, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Special counsel: "We have one set of laws in this country"

Jack Smith

Special counsel Jack Smith delivers remarks on a recently unsealed indictment against former President Donald Trump at the Justice Department on June 9. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

"We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone," special counsel Jack Smith said on Friday in his first public remarks following the indictment of former President Trump.

Driving the news: Smith has been leading the Department of Justice's investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

  • The Department of Justice unsealed the 37-count federal indictment against the 45th president on Friday.
  • "This indictment was voted by a grand jury of citizens in the Southern District of Florida," said Smith, who did not take reporters' questions.
  • "And I invite everyone to read it in full to understand the scope and the gravity of the crimes charged."

Why it matters: The federal charges present the biggest legal threat to the former president, who is the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, and come just two months after he was charged in a Manhattan criminal court for allegedly falsifying business records.

What he's saying: Trump criticized Smith in a Truth Social post on Friday afternoon, calling him a "Trump hater" and saying that he should not be involved with the justice system.

  • This is not the first time Trump has criticized Smith during the federal investigation.

Between the lines: Smith’s remarks come as some Republican lawmakers following Trump’s indictment have decried the DOJ as implementing “an unequal application of justice” on behalf of the former president.

Of note: Smith, formerly a chief prosecutor at The Hague, was tapped by Attorney General Merrick Garland last November to oversee federal investigations into Trump.

Editor's note: This is story has been updated with additional details throughout. Please check back for updates.

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