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Jack Smith’s Rush To Try Trump Before November Is ‘Obvious’ Election Meddling, Stefanik Complaint Says

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New York Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik filed an ethics complaint Tuesday alleging Special Counsel Jack Smith’s rushed lawfare campaign against former President Donald Trump is tantamount to election interference. Smith, Stefanik said, has been “abusing the resources of the federal government to unlawfully interfere with the 2024 presidential election.”

The complaint, filed with the Office of Professional Responsibility within Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ), argues Smith is attempting to rush the trial of Trump regarding his speech about the 2020 election ahead of this November’s rematch, in violation of the DOJ’s Justice Manual.

Section 9-85.500 of the manual stipulates “federal prosecutors … may never select the timing of any action … for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party.”

Stefanik argues Smith violated the statute in August of 2023 when “he petitioned the District Court for a January 2, 2024, trial date.” Stefanik cites the roughly 13 million pages of discovery Trump’s team had to review, alongside other evidence, to argue that Smith’s intended five-month turnaround was an obvious attempt to rush a complex case to get a judgment before Election Day.

“It’s obvious to any reasonable observer that Jack Smith is trying to interfere with the 2024 election and stop the American people from electing Donald Trump,” Stefanik said in a statement. “At every turn, he has sought to accelerate his illegal prosecution of President Trump for the clear (if unstated) purpose of trying him before the November election.”

Stefanik also alleges Smith violated the same statute when he unsuccessfully tried to expedite his case against Trump by begging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari before a lower court had rendered a judgment.

“That Jack Smith was solely motivated by the desire to interfere in the November election was effectively proven two months later” when he opposed Trump’s petition for certiorari on the issue of presidential immunity, Stefanik reasoned. Smith argued the nation had a “compelling interest in the prompt resolution of this case” in opposing Trump’s petition.

“The public, respondent, and the government are entitled to nothing less,” Smith argued, despite the fact that the Sixth Amendment grants the right to a speedy trial to defendants, not “the government” or “the public.”

“Aside from the upcoming election, what ‘compelling interest’ does the public have in the prompt resolution of this case?” Stefanik asked. “Why should this interest—based on an unstated reason—override the due process rights of a criminal defendant?”

The congresswoman also alleged Smith “repeatedly and deliberately violated” a district court’s stay of proceedings, including when he served an additional nearly 4,000 pages of discovery to Trump’s team. The district court had stayed “any further proceedings that would move this case towards trial or impose additional burdens of litigation on Defendant.”

In addition to the 4,000 pages of discovery, Stefanik pointed to Smith’s decision to file “a motion in limine in District Court” after Smith indicated to the Supreme Court that “the case is now on hold” at the district level. Smith’s “refusal to abide by the District Court’s stay” violated D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct 3.4(c), and his admission to the Supreme Court that the case was “on hold” indicated he did so “knowingly,” Stefanik argued.

“Jack Smith emphatically said that ‘no one in this country … is above the law.’ If that is true, then he should be open to, and welcome, an ethics investigation into conduct that, on its face, implicates potential violations of DOJ policy and multiple rules of professional conduct,” Stefanik wrote. “Biden special counsel Jack Smith’s highly unusual and clearly improper attempts to expedite trial, and his blatant violation of District Court orders, evidence his partisan attempt to influence the results of the 2024 presidential election.”

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a similar complaint in March requesting DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz investigate why Smith is apparently hellbent on trying Trump before November.


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