WASHINGTON — (TNS) The U.S. Justice Department has appointed an independent special counsel to oversee criminal investigations related to former President Donald Trump and decide whether to bring any charges now that he’s making a third run for the White House in 2024.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday he determined it was in the public interest to appoint a special counsel given “recent developments,” including Trump’s announcement that he planned to run for president again and President Joe Biden’s stated intention to run for re-election.