According to a senior Justice Department official on Friday, the U.S. Justice Department has appointed a special counsel to oversee its investigations into the former president Donald Trump.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the prosecutor will be in charge of both the investigations into how Trump handled confidential government records and any attempts to obstruct the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 election.
This would be the Justice Department’s third special counsel to be appointed since 2017 to handle a politically sensitive case. Such prosecutors typically have a high degree of independence to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
The name of the special counsel was not immediately available.
Former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed in 2017 to oversee the federal investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and its contacts with Russia. In 2019, John Durham was appointed to investigate the origins of the FBI’s probe into Trump’s 2016 campaign.