WASHINGTON -- Former President Donald Trump didn't hold back his words against the Department of Justice after a special counsel was appointed to oversee two investigations involving him.
The former president criticized the announcement during a speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort, saying the investigations are politically motivated and an abuse of power.
Veteran prosecutor Jack Smith will now lead the DOJ's investigations into the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and the allegedly unlawful retention of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said he appointed Smith after Trump announced his 2024 presidential run, which created a conflict of interest since President Joe Biden intends to run again.
The president's press secretary was asked about the investigation.
"This is going to be up to the attorney general, up to the Department of Justice as it relates to a criminal investigation. But, I can tell you that the president was not aware. We were not aware. We were not given advanced notice. And I would refer to the Department of Justice," said Karine Jean-Pierre.
Several Republican lawmakers have called the move an overstep, but many Democrats are publicly applauding Smith's appointment, including Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who said this is a far cry from the approach of the previous administration.
The special counsel will also investigate whether trump committed any crimes with classified documents taken from the White House and found at Mar-A-Lago.