Court Battles

Former Trump deputy AG: Special counsel ‘not an agent of the deep state’ 

A former Trump deputy attorney general defended special counsel Jack Smith after the former president revealed he was the target of the Jan. 6 federal investigation looking into efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

NewsNation’s Dan Abrams asked Richard Donoghue, who served in Trump’s Justice Department from December 2020 to January 2021, what he thought of remarks made by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Tuesday accusing President Biden of weaponizing the government to go after his opponent.

“I think nothing could be further from the truth,” Donoghue said. “For some people, Donald Trump will always be a man who was targeted because he stands up to corrupt elites, and for others he will always be Benedict Donald, a leader who puts his own interests above the country’s.”

“I don’t think he’s political. He’s not left-wing, he is not an agent of the deep state,” he said of Smith. “His politics would put him right of center, I believe, and look, he secured the first capital sentence in New York in more than 50 years. He’s not a bleeding-heart liberal.”

Abrams asked Donoghue if he believed it was unfair for those to describe Smith as a “tool of the left wing.”

“Absolutely, I don’t believe that for a minute,” he said. “I’ve known Jack for decades. I’ve seen and worked many, many cases over the years up close. I’ve seen him work incredibly hard at doing that, and what he’s always done is follow the facts and apply the law.”

Trump revealed Tuesday that he received a letter informing him that he is a target of Smith’s investigation looking into the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks on the Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Legal experts say that means the former president will likely be indicted for a third time this year.

Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 federal counts of mishandling classified documents and attempting to keep them from the government in a separate case last month. And he has pleaded not guilty to all charges in a hush money case in New York City.

Donoghue was one of several former Trump Justice Department officials who testified before the House Jan. 6 select committee last year. He is also a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Both NewsNation and The Hill are owned and operated by Nexstar Media Group.

Tags Dan Abrams Donald Trump Jack Smith Jan. 6 Capitol riot Joe Biden Kevin McCarthy Richard Donoghue Trump indictment

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more