Advertisement

Trump Could Get Lots Of Help From Latest Jack Smith Court Filing: Analysts

Advertisement

OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Special Counsel Jack Smith has made a claim in a new court filing that has caught the attention of some legal analysts who noted that it may strengthen former President Donald Trump’s efforts to dismiss all charges against him if he wins the upcoming presidential election.

“In his latest filing in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case, Smith writes that the special counsel is not independent and is ‘inferior’ to the attorney general, who can remove him or overrule any of his decisions. That lays the legal groundwork for Trump to appoint a favorable attorney general if elected for a second term in November,” Newsweek reported.

Trump has entered a not-guilty plea to 40 charges stemming from claims that he unlawfully kept sensitive documents after leaving the White House in January 2021 and thwarted efforts by the federal government to recover them from his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago.

Smith accused Trump of conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiring against rights in relation to the investigation in a different federal case last year. The allegations concerned the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol and the purported scheme to present fictitious slates of pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College.

Responding in an amicus brief—a “friend of the court” filing—was President Ronald Reagan’s former attorney general, Edwin Meese, who argued to Judge Aileen Cannon that Smith’s appointment as a special counsel in Trump’s election fraud case in Washington, D.C., and his case involving classified documents in Florida, was unlawful.

Advertisement

Smith dismissed this argument, stating that the appointments clause of the U.S. Constitution designates the special counsel as an “inferior officer” rather than an independent body.

“An inferior officer is one who reports to and is supervised by a superior officer,” Smith stated in his briefing.

“The Special Counsel is an ‘inferior Officer’ under the Special Counsel regulation because the Attorney General supervises the Special Counsel’s work, may remove him from office, and may review and countermand his decisions. And, as an additional means of exercising control, the Attorney General can rescind the regulation at any time, or amend the appointment order, and exercise direct statutory supervision over the Special Counsel,” Smith stated.

“The Special Counsel is subject to the Attorney General’s supervision and oversight. The Special Counsel’s work is overseen by the Attorney General, who appointed him and delegated to him powers that are otherwise vested in the Attorney General alone,” he added.

But Preet Bharara, the former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said during a recent podcast that Trump could simply pardon himself in federal cases involving election meddling and the holding of classified documents after taking office.

Advertisement

Bharara claims that the second course of action would be for Trump to designate a supportive attorney general to drop the federal charges. If Trump were to win the presidency in 2024, he “almost certainly” would take this course of action.

According to Bharara, a president may choose to assert immunity from prosecution for acts performed while in office, which is the third option.

It is very plausible that Trump could move to extricate himself from the lawfare filed against him by his Democratic rival’s Justice Department.

Just the News reported that a slew of new surveys show Trump has either maintained or extended his lead over President Biden in seven key battleground states.

“Trump leads Biden by 4% in Arizona, 1% in Michigan, 3% in Nevada and 3% in Wisconsin, according to four polls released Wednesday and Thursday by Emerson College Polling/The Hill,” the outlet noted, citing the surveys.

“Trump is also ahead of Biden by 3% in North Carolina and 4% in Georgia, according to polls released Wednesday by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Meanwhile, an Emerson College survey released last week shows Trump leads Biden by 4% in Pennsylvania,” the outlet continued.

That said, Trump’s lead is within the margin of error in at least three states—Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada—and he’s within the 3.6 percent margin of error in the Marist poll in North Carolina.

Test your skills with this Quiz!