Themacforums – Who is Jack Smith, the Special Counsel Named in the Trump Investigations? Jack Smith is a seasoned prosecutor who has managed a number of high-profile cases over the course of a career spanning decades.
He was appointed as the special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday to oversee the criminal investigations into the retention of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and portions of the January 6, 2021 uprising.
Smith’s experience includes bringing cases against gang members who were ultimately found guilty of killing New York City police officers as well as prosecuting a US senator who was still in office. Smith has recently brought war crimes cases to The Hague. He has been able to maintain a reasonably modest profile in the frequently brassy legal sector because of his career in numerous departments of the Justice Department and in international courts.
He will be able to avoid the kind of political backlash that former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team encountered right away thanks to his expertise and background, at least initially. It also demonstrates his skill at handling complicated criminal cases involving public corruption and national security, as well as his experience making difficult choices that have political repercussions.
Smith is anticipated to be given the responsibility of deciding whether to bring charges against a former US president. The latest actions in the Mar-a-Lago and January 6 investigations, along with Garland’s comments on Friday, have indicated that Donald Trump is, at the very least, the subject of an investigation and may ultimately be charged with a crime.
“He has experience with high-profile cases. He is self-reliant. He won’t be swayed by anyone, Greg Andres, a former member of Mueller’s team, declared.
Andres, who has known Smith since the late 1990s when they both began working at a US attorney’s office and later rose to become co-chiefs of the office’s criminal division, claimed that Smith’s depth of experience will allow him to endure public scrutiny and reach difficult decisions.
“He will assess the available evidence and determine whether to press charges or not. He has the kind of experience to render those conclusions, Andres said.
He is aware of the courtroom. He is aware of how to conduct a trial. He continued, “He knows how to make a case. It will be crucial to know what kinds of evidence are needed to prove the case in court, particularly in these situations.
Following his announcement, Smith promised in a statement that he would carry out the inquiries “independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”
“Under my direction, the investigations’ speed won’t slow down or falter. Smith declared, “I will use my own discretion and conduct the investigations swiftly and completely to whatever conclusion the evidence and the law require.
Who is Jack Smith, the Special Counsel Named in the Trump Investigations? According to a former coworker, Smith has filed lawsuits against politicians from both parties.
The individual added that “things are going to hurry up” and predicted that “he’s going to be pretty aggressive.” Smith “operates very rapidly,” they claimed and has a special aptitude for quickly identifying the factors that are essential to a case. He also reportedly doesn’t waste time “hand-wringing over things that are really sideshows.”
This person claimed that Smith comes across as very relatable and down to earth in court, defining that as a positive quality in a prosecutor.
They added that Smith has a very thick skin and won’t give a damn about the politics of the situation and that he will “do what he’s going to do.”
A Career Prosecutor
In 1994, Smith started his legal career with the New York County District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney. According to the Justice Department, he served as an assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of New York in 1999, where he prosecuted cases including civil rights abuses and the murder of police officers by gangs.
One of Smith’s greatest and most prominent cases as a prosecutor in Brooklyn, New York, involved holding gang member Ronell Wilson accountable for the killing of two detectives from the New York City police department during the operation of a covert weapon in Staten Island.
Although a judge eventually determined Wilson was ineligible for the death penalty, he was convicted and given the capital penalty, making Wilson’s case the first death penalty case in New York in 50 years at the time.
Smith was referred to as “one of the best trial lawyers I have ever seen” by Moe Foreman, a coworker at EDNY.
He is a fantastic investigator and does not skip a beat. He digs deep to uncover the real information,” Fodeman remarked.
Smith is still pals with Fodeman, who described him as a triathlete and biker who is “truly mad.”
Smith began working for the International Criminal Court in 2008 and managed war crimes inquiries for the prosecutor’s office for two years.
He assumed the position of chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section in 2010, where he handled the prosecution of cases involving public corruption. In 2015, he was appointed first assistant US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Smith is regarded as a model public servant even though he is not well-known outside of Washington, DC’s legal community.
He oversaw dozens of line prosecutors during his tenure as director of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section beginning about ten years ago.
Smith brought in Brian Kidd, who remembered how his boss guided him through each step of a challenging racketeering case involving dishonest police officers.
He would not put up with a prosecution that was politically motivated, Kidd added. And he has a remarkable talent for inspiring those who work for him and for him. He is a great supporter of his group.
With varying results, Smith handled some of the most prominent political corruption cases in recent memory.
According to a person familiar with the case, he was in meetings with the defense team and participated in decision-making leading up to the charges when former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was charged in 2014. He was also the head of the public integrity section at the time.
McDonnell was initially found guilty of accepting gifts in exchange for political favor, but the Supreme Court later overturned that decision.
When the DOJ failed to find former senator and vice presidential contender John Edwards guilty at trial, Smith was in charge of the unit.
Republican source with knowledge of Smith’s handling of the investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay praised Smith’s impartial approach and claimed that he ultimately made a “fair” decision to close the inquiry without charging DeLay with any crimes.
He hasn’t resided in the United States recently while working at The Hague. Although he is no longer a member of the US Triathlon team, he is still a talented cyclist.
Early in 2017, after David Rivera left his position as US Attorney, Smith took over as acting US Attorney. Later that year, he left the Justice Department and joined the Hospital Corporation of America as vice president of litigation. He looked into war crimes in Kosovo before becoming a chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague in 2018.
During the announcement on Friday, Garland stated that Smith had developed a reputation as an objective and tenacious prosecutor who led teams with vigor and focus to follow the facts wherever they led. “Mr. Smith is the best option to resolve these issues in a timely and impartial manner.”
Smith was questioned as part of a Republican-led IRS Investigation
As part of the investigation into the alleged IRS targeting of conservative groups, the House Oversight Committee had a private interview with Smith in May 2014. Following a 2013 inspector general report that discovered delays in the processing of applications by specific conservative groups and information requests from them that were later judged unnecessary, then-Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa started the investigation.
Republicans requested Smith’s testimony because of his involvement in setting up a meeting in 2010 between Justice Department officials and then-IRS official Lois Lerner, who was at the core of the IRS controversy. Smith was the Public Integrity division chief at the time.
Who is Jack Smith, the Special Counsel Named in the Trump Investigations? According to a letter from Issa and Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who is anticipated to be the House Judiciary chairman next year, the conference was called to address the “changing legal landscape” of campaign finance law in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
Issa and Jordan stated in the letter requesting Smith’s testimony that “it is apparent that the Department’s leadership, including Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith, was closely involved in engaging with the IRS in the wake of Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to address perceived problems with the decision.”
According to a copy of his interview acquired by THEMACFORUMS, Smith claimed that his office “had a dialogue” with the FBI about starting investigations into politically active non-profits after the meeting with Lerner, but did not ultimately do so.
Smith claimed that since he was new to the public integrity division and wanted to learn more about the legal environment governing political non-profits in the wake of the Citizens United decision, he had requested a meeting with the IRS. He claimed Lerner had stated it would be challenging, if not impossible, to file a claim for misuse of tax-exempt status.
Throughout the discussion, Smith emphasized multiple times that the Justice Department did not pursue any investigations because of politics.
To be clear, he continued, “it would be more about looking at the situation and determining whether it made sense to launch investigations.” “If we did, how would you go about doing this, you know? Exists a prediction or justification for starting an investigation? things of the sort. As I sit here, I’m unable to speak directly about the back-and-forth of that conversation.
I can only say that since I am aware that one of your worries is that some companies may have been singled out. And I can confirm that neither Public Integrity nor we, have, as you are aware, opened any investigations or filed any cases as a result of those discussions.
Smith further stated that he was never under any pressure to look into any political groups and that he was not aware of anyone at the Justice Department exerting pressure on the IRS.
“No. I might be able to stop you guys. I am aware that there are many of these inquiries. Nobody who knows me would ever even think to ask me to do such a thing, and I’ve never been asked these questions, Smith claimed.
More information has been added to this story.