Keep Scrolling for continue reading for more stories

Rep. Elise Stefanik Requests Investigation into Special Counsel Jack Smith

CBS News is reporting that Republican Representative Elise Stefanik has urged the Justice Department to initiate an investigation into Special Counsel Jack Smith. Stefanik alleges that Smith has breached departmental standards and ethical obligations in his prosecution of former President Donald Trump concerning the 2020 presidential election.

Stefanik, who chairs the House Republican Conference and represents New York, has vocalized concerns over the timing of the trial against Trump in Washington, D.C. According to her, Smith is using federal resources to improperly influence the upcoming 2024 presidential election by pushing for the trial’s scheduling before November. This action, she claims, contravenes Justice Department policies that prohibit any prosecutorial actions from being timed to affect election outcomes.

The controversy centers on charges that Trump unlawfully attempted to interfere with the transfer of presidential power following the 2020 election. Trump has entered a not guilty plea to these charges. Smith’s office, adhering to standard legal practice, has not commented on ongoing proceedings.

In her communication to Jeffrey Ragsdale at the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Stefanik highlighted that while Smith has avoided publicly linking the trial’s timing to the election, his decisions suggest otherwise. She also mentioned a specific instance where Smith’s actions allegedly defied a federal district court order, which paused proceedings in the 2020 election case, by continuing to submit legal filings and evidence to Trump’s defense team.

Further complicating matters, Trump’s legal team has accused Smith of contempt for supposedly violating a court order by Judge Tanya Chutkan, which aimed to control the flow of pretrial motions. However, Chutkan ruled that her order did not explicitly prohibit the actions taken by the government that Trump’s team contested.

The case remains in limbo as the Supreme Court deliberates on whether Trump is entitled to presidential immunity from federal prosecution, a decision that is expected by the end of June. This decision will significantly impact whether the charges against Trump will proceed or be dismissed.

Stefanik’s call for an ethics investigation into Smith’s conduct underscores the heated and partisan atmosphere surrounding the legal proceedings against Trump. She criticizes Smith’s methods as “highly unusual and clearly improper,” arguing they reflect a partisan effort to influence the election outcome.