Stefanik Demands DOJ Ethics Investigation of Jack Smith

( – On Tuesday, April 30th, Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asked the Department of Justice to begin an investigation into Jack Smith, the special counsel for President Joe Biden, over allegations that his prosecution of former President Donald Trump amounts to an attempt to sway the election towards Biden.

In a letter to the Office of Professional Responsibility, a division of the DOJ, Stefanik requested that they examine the way Smith has dealt with Trump’s election interference case. In her complaint, Stefanik accuses Smith of trying to “accelerate” the prosecution of the former president, suggesting that Smith’s goal is to subvert the election in November. The New York representative went so far as to say that Special Counsel Smith has brought “disrepute” to the DOJ and the federal government through his actions, telling the Office of Professional Responsibility that they should “impose the discipline” that is deserved for Smith’s actions.

Though the Justice Department has no formal policy on the books, typically, they decline to take action on candidates 60 days before an election to avoid any appearance of interference. Jay Bratt, a prosecutor on the Special Counsel’s team for the case, recently stated that the rule only applies to beginning a case against someone within 60 days of the election, meaning investigations that began before the 60-day window are not included in the rule. Bratt also said that the team had already discussed the timing of their investigation with the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section.

Despite Stefanik’s letter, experts believe the ethics complaint against Smith is unlikely to result in discipline for the Special Counsel, as the indictment against Trump happened in August 2023, over a year before the presidential election.

However, the Supreme Court listened to arguments over whether Trump should receive immunity for his actions in late April and they will likely announce their ruling in the case sometime in June. Given how slowly the courts move, it seems unlikely that Smith’s case against Trump will go to trial before the November election.

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