Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.


Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida on November 15, 2022. (Photo by Alon Skuy/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump Claims He Is 'Not Going to Partake' in Special Counsel Probes

"Thing is, with prosecutors you don't have to 'partake,'" noted Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse. "They and the agents and the grand jurors go about their business without you having to 'partake' at all."

Jessica Corbett

Former President Donald Trump on Friday told Fox News Digital that he won't "partake" after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith to serve as special counsel for two ongoing criminal investigations involving the GOP leader, who recently announced his 2024 campaign.

"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," said Trump, who faces various legal issues at the state and federal level. "And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this."

"I have been proven innocent for six years on everything—from fake impeachments to [former Special Counsel Robert] Mueller who found no collusion, and now I have to do it more?" he continued. "It is not acceptable. It is so unfair. It is so political."

The first investigation Smith will oversee focuses on the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol that Trump incited with his "Big Lie" that the 2020 election was stolen from him—which led to his unprecedented second impeachment. The second probe focuses on classified documents and other presidential records.

The ex-president insisted Friday that "I am not going to partake in it... I'm not going to partake in this."

"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."

"It is not even believable that they're allowed to do this. This is the worst politicization of justice in our country," Trump added before taking aim at President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and again urging his allies to challenge the investigations.

"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," he declared. "The Republican Party has to stand up and fight."

Journalist Aaron Rupar took to Twitter to highlight several of Trump's lies in his comments to Fox.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) tweeted: "Thing is, with prosecutors you don't have to 'partake.' They and the agents and the grand jurors go about their business without you having to 'partake' at all. You even have a right not to 'partake.'"

Garland did not shy away from Trump's bid to reclaim the White House in his Friday speech announcing the appointment. He said that "based on recent developments, including the former president's announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election, and the sitting president's stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel."

Smith, a former federal prosecutor, said in a statement Friday that "I intend to conduct the assigned investigations, and any prosecutions that may result from them, independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice. The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch. I will exercise independent judgment and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate."

The Biden White House did not receive advance notice of Smith's appointment, according to Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who said that "the Department of Justice makes their own decision when it relates to criminal investigation. We were not involved."

"We do not politicize the Department of Justice," she added. "That is something that the president said during the campaign. That is something that the president said during his early days of being in the White House, and that continues to be true. We were not involved in this particular issue."

Trump announced on his Truth Social platform that at 8:00 pm ET Friday, he will be "making a statement on the never-ending Witch Hunt" from Mar-a-Lago—his Florida estate where federal agents executed a search warrant in August.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Historic Offshore Wind Lease Sale in California Gets Over $750 Million in Winning Bids

"If we build on today's forward momentum, the United States can dramatically reduce its global warming emissions and become a global leader in renewable energy technologies like deep-water offshore wind."

Brett Wilkins ·

Solidarity Fund Up and Running for Designer Behind Iconic Bernie Sanders Posters

Tyler Evans "has dedicated his life to the progressive movement," says the GoFundMe created for the hospitalized designer. "Now it's our time to have Tyler's back when he and his family need it most."

Jessica Corbett ·

Journalism Defenders Push for Passage of 'Game-Changing' PRESS Act

"The PRESS Act is the most important free press legislation in modern times because it would finally stop the government from spying on journalists and threatening them with arrest for doing their jobs," explained one advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·

New York Times Union Workers Planning Dec. 8 Walkout, Rally Over Pay

"Our collective action is working: Management backed off its attempt to kill our pension and agreed to expand fertility benefits," the union said of ongoing talks. "But management still barely budged on some of our most important priorities."

Jessica Corbett ·

Dems Back Blue Dog Spanberger for Swing District Post Over Progressive Cartwright

The corporate Democrat's path to victory was "pretty simple," said one progressive. "Matt Cartwright supports Medicare for All and Spanberger is a former CIA agent who spends all her time punching left."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo