Jack Smith, the special counsel, was appointed by attorney general Merrick Garland last Friday to supervise the criminal investigation into the storage of classified documents in the former president Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, as well as a portion that was part of January 6, 2021 insurrection. Garland is a veteran prosecutor who has been in charge of several prominent cases during a career that spans several years.
Smith’s expertise ranges from prosecuting a current US senator to bringing criminal cases against criminals who were later found guilty of shooting New York City police officers. In recent times, Jack Smith has prosecuted war crimes in The Hague. His experience in various parts within The Justice Department and international courts have allowed him to maintain a frank image in the often raunchy legal world.
His work experience and credentials will enable him, at first, to get beneath the sort of political backlash that was a problem for the former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. This also indicates that he’s proficient in handling complex criminal cases related to public corruption and national security. It also shows his experience in making tough decisions that have political consequences.
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DOJ announced the special counsel for Mar-a-Lago-related Trump and criminal investigations on January 6.
Jack Smith is widely believed to decide whether to indict an ex-president in the United States. Garland’s remarks on Friday and the latest steps taken during the Mar-a-Lago and January 6 probes have indicated that, at the very least, Donald Trump is under investigation and could be accused of an offense.
“He is adept at handling the most important matters. He is self-reliant. He is not under anyone’s control, “said Greg Andres, a former Mueller team member.
Andres Smith, who’s known Smith since the mid-90s, when they started working in a US attorney’s office and later became co-chiefs in the criminal division of the office. The breadth of Smith’s expertise will allow him to stand up to the public’s scrutiny and make tough judgment calls.
“He will weigh the evidence and determine the nature of the case and whether it warrants prosecution or not.” He has the experience that allows him to make such decisions,” said Andres.
“He is a courtroom expert. He knows how to present the case. He is able to prove the case,” he added. It is critical to understand the type of evidence needed to support the case in court, especially under certain circumstances.
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After the statement, Smith pledged to conduct the investigation “independently and within the best practices that are the norm for the Department of Justice.”
“The momentum of the investigation will not slow down or falter under my guidance. I will use my judgment independently and move the investigation ahead swiftly and thoroughly in accordance with whatever the circumstances and the law demand,” Jack Smith said.
A former colleague pointed out that Jack Smith has accused members of both parties of being prosecuted.
“He’s sure to get very aggressive,” the person said, adding that “things will accelerate.” Jack Smith, they claimed, “operates very quickly” and can rapidly identify what is essential to a particular case. He does not waste time “hand-wringing about things that could be considered sideshows.”
In the courtroom, Smith comes off as extraordinarily relatable and down-to-earth The person said that and described that as an excellent quality to possess as a prosecutor.
Jack Smith is also not concerned about the political issues surrounding the matter, they said, adding that he has a thick skin that he will “do what he’s gonna do.”
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A career prosecutor
Jack Smith was appointed an assistant district attorney in his New York County District Attorney’s Office in 1994. Jack Smith was employed as an assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of New York in 1999. He handled cases involving civil rights violations and police officers killed by gangs, according to the Justice Department.
As a prosecutor from Brooklyn, New York, one of Smith’s most essential and prominent cases involved prosecuting gang member Ronell Wilson in the case of the murder of two New York City police department detectives in an undercover gun operation on Staten Island.
Wilson was found guilty and sentenced to die as it was the only death sentence trial in New York in the past 50 years, even though an appeals court later discovered that he was not a candidate to be executed.
Moe Foreman, who worked with Jack Smith at EDNY Smith, has called him “one of the best trial lawyers I’ve ever encountered.”
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“He is a remarkable investigator. He does not leave a mark unturned. He sifts through the dirt to discover the truth details,” Foreman said.
Foreman Smith, who is close to Smith, has said that he is an “insane” triathlete and cyclist.
In 2008, Jack Smith began working for Smith at the International Criminal Court and oversaw war crimes investigations within the Office of the Prosecutor for two years.
Then, in 2010, he was made the head of the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department, where he managed the prosecution of corruption cases. He was then named the first Assistant US prosecutor in Tennessee’s Middle District of Tennessee in 2015.
While he’s not widely known within Washington, DC, legal circles, Jack Smith is described as a top public serviceman.
A decade ago, he enlisted several line prosecutors in the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department, supervising dozens throughout his tenure in the department.
Brian Kidd, whom the unit hired Jack Smith, told of how his boss guided him through each step of the complicated racketeering trial with corrupt police officials.
According to Kidd, “He would not permit a prosecution driven by politics.” “Additionally, Kidd has a remarkable talent for motivating those who work for him and alongside him. He is a huge asset to the group he collaborates with.”
Jack Smith was the person who handled some of the most notable corruption scandals in recent history – with mixed results.
He was the unit director for public integrity during the time of the Virginia governor. Bob McDonnell was indicted in 2014 and was also in discussions with defense officials and involved in decision-making prior to the indictment, according to a source familiar with the situation.
McDonnell was initially found guilty of receiving political gifts as favors. However, his conviction was reversed in McDonnell’s Supreme Court.
Jack Smith was in charge of the team when the DOJ could not bring to trial former Senator and vice-presidential campaigner John Edwards.
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A Republican source familiar with Smith’s oversight over the investigation into the former House Minority Speaker Tom DeLay commended Smith’s non-biased approach, stating that he reached a “just” decision to close the investigation without claiming DeLay had committed any offense.
In the last few years, while employed by The Hague, he has not been living at home in The United States. He’s not on The Hague’s US Triathlon team but is still a professional cyclist.
Jack Smith was appointed acting US Attorney after David Rivera departed in early 2017. Later that year, he resigned from his position at the Justice Department and became the vice head of litigation at the Hospital Corporation of America. In 2018, he was named the chief prosecutor of the special court at The Hague, where he investigated war crimes committed in Kosovo.
“Throughout his entire career Jack Smith has built his reputation as an objective and committed prosecutor who is a leader with energy and determination to pursue the evidence wherever they take them,” Garland said during the announcement on Friday. “Mr. Smith is the ideal choice to handle these questions in a fair and speedily.”
Jack Smith was interviewed as part of the Republican-led IRS investigation.
In May 2014 In May 2014, in May 2014, the House Oversight Committee interviewed Jack Smith in closed sessions in the context of the investigation led by Republicans into the allegations of the IRS’s targeted attack on conservative organizations.
At the time, the chairman of the oversight committee, Darrell Issa, launched the probe after an inspector general report revealed delays in processing applications by conservative groups and soliciting details from them which were later dismissed as unnecessary.
Republicans requested evidence from Jack Smith, who was at the time Public Integrity section chief, because of his involvement in organizing a meeting in 2010 between Justice Department officials and then-IRS official Lois Lerner, the official who was at the heart of the IRS scandal.
The meeting was set for discussion of the “evolving legal environment” of the law on campaign finance in light of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision as stated in a May 2014 letter from Issa Smith and Rep. Jim Jordan, the Ohio Republican who is likely to become House Judiciary chairman next year.
“It is obvious that the Department’s senior leadership which comprised Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith was heavily concerned in cooperating with the IRS following Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to resolve perceived issues in the decision.” Issa and Jordan wrote in their letter requesting Smith’s testimony.
Jack Smith said that after speaking with Lerner, the office “had an interaction” considering opening investigations against politically active non-profits in front of the FBI. But ultimately, they decided against doing so, according to a transcript of his interview that CNN was able to get.
Smith stated that he requested an appointment with IRS as he wanted to know more about the legal framework for political non-profits in the wake of the Citizens United decision because he was only a little familiar with this section of public integrity. He explained that Lerner explained that it was difficult, if not impossible, to file a lawsuit on the misuse of tax exemption status.
Jack Smith repeatedly stated during the interview that the Justice Department did not pursue any investigation due to political motives.
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“I would like to explain that it’s more of a look at the problem, questioning the logic behind conducting an open investigation,” he said. “If we were to do that how would you approach this? Do you have a predictable justification to launch an investigation? It’s all in the details.
I’m not able to say that I’m here for specifics, like the back-and-forth discussion. I can only say that I am aware that one of your concerns is that certain organizations were targeted. And I can assure you that Public Integrity, as a company Public Integrity, did not launch any investigation as a result of these discussions, and we are certain, as you’ve seen that we have not filed any case due to this.”
Jack Smith also stated that he wasn’t aware of anyone from the Justice Department placing pressure on the IRS Smith – and also Smith also said that he never was pressured to investigate any political organizations.
“No. Perhaps I’ll stop you. I’m sure there’s a string of these questions. There’s been no time when I was asked these questions. And anyone who knows me wouldn’t ever even think about having me do this thing.” Jack Smith said.