OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to handle the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents, has a checkered legal past that includes a brutal smackdown by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court.
According to the Western Journal, Smith — then head of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Unit after being appointed by far-left AG Eric Holder — led the prosecution of then-Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, who was convicted on corruption charges in 2014.
In that case, the government argued that McConnell improperly took gifts from a political donor, but in 2016, as Politico reported, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled 8-0 to overturn the conviction. (Justice Antonin Scalia had passed away suddenly and then-President Barack Obama had nominated then-U.S. District Judge Merrick Garland to replace him, but that nomination was blocked).
In the high court’s ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts shredded Smith’s prosecution for relying on a “boundless” definition of what constituted corruption.
“The decision from the eight-justice court could make it tougher for prosecutors to prove corruption cases against politicians in cases where there is no proof of an explicit agreement linking a campaign donation or gift to a contract, grant or vote,” Politico’s Josh Gerstein wrote at the time. “The court’s opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, rejected the government’s position that simply agreeing to meet with someone on account of such largesse could be enough to constitute an official act that could trigger a corruption conviction.”
“There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute,” Roberts wrote in the ruling.
“A more limited interpretation of the term ‘official act’ leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this Court.”
Meanwhile, there are other disturbingly political aspects to Smith. For one, his wife produced a hagiography of Michelle Obama for Netflix:
The New York Post reported: “Katy Chevigny is credited as a producer on ‘Becoming,’ a 2020 documentary about Obama, and Federal Election Commission records show that she donated $2,000 in support of Biden’s presidential run that same year.”
The Post added that Smith’s wife “also worked on the 2018 documentary titled ‘Dark Money.’ The film is described as a ‘political thriller’ that ‘takes viewers to Montana – a front line in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide – to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impact of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.’”
The Western Journal explained:
Citizens United v. FEC was a landmark Supreme Court case which held that prohibitions on independent expenditures by corporations or private groups in elections was an unconstitutional breach of the First Amendment’s right to free expression.
On Thursday, Smith charged the former president with 37 counts related to his handling of classified documents. If he is found guilty on all counts, Trump — who is Joe Biden’s chief rival in next year’s presidential election — reportedly faces decades in prison.
According to the indictment, Trump allegedly showed classified documents to a number of people who did not have the proper security clearances on at least two separate occasions. The DOJ alleges that both instances took place at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J.
“We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone,” Smith said in announcing the charges last week. “My office will seek a speedy trial in this matter, consistent with the public interest and the rights of the accused.”
“It is very important for me to note that the defendant, in this case, must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. To that end, my office will seek a speedy trial in this matter.”