The investigations into former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden will proceed even in the event of a government shutdown, according to special counsel Jack Smith. Smith’s team will continue their work thanks to the “permanent, indefinite appropriation for independent counsels” that funds special counsel expenses, per a Department of Justice report.
Former President Trump has called on Congress to cut funding for what he considers politically motivated investigations. He sees the upcoming government funding deadline as an opportunity to defund what he refers to as “Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government.”
Despite the potential government shutdown, the Department of Justice is well-prepared to carry on with its operations. However, the GOP-led House has only passed a fraction of the appropriations bills necessary to fund the government, and these are unlikely to gain support in the Senate. The lack of short-term funding solutions means that the government shutdown is looming just hours away.
In the event of a shutdown, over 90,000 DOJ employees will continue working, with over 6,000 of them initially continuing to be paid. The federal judiciary also plans to use carryover funds and fees to keep the courts operational for several weeks. However, serious disruptions are expected once these funds are exhausted.
Special counsel Jack Smith has indicted former President Trump on federal charges in Florida and Washington, D.C., relating to his handling of classified documents and his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Trials for these cases are scheduled for next year. Special Counsel David Weiss is leading the investigation into Hunter Biden, with charges related to a 2018 gun incident already filed. Additional tax charges are expected to be brought against Hunter Biden based on a recently terminated plea agreement. Special Counsel Robert Hur is also conducting a quiet investigation into President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents, although the current status of that case remains unknown.