Latest News 01-05-2024 00:02 5 Views

Stefanik hits special counsel Jack Smith with ethics complaint, accuses him of election meddling

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., is filing an ethics complaint against special counsel Jack Smith on Tuesday, accusing him of violating Department of Justice (DOJ) standards and trying to tip the election against former President Trump.

In a letter sent to the DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility, Stefanik urged the government watchdog to investigate Smith over accusations of 'abusing the resources of the federal government to unlawfully interfere with the 2024 presidential election.'

'Jack Smith’s multiple attempts to rush to trial the federal January 6th case against President Trump violated long-standing, explicit Justice Department policy,' Stefanik wrote.

'Further, Jack Smith’s repeated violations of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia’s stay of proceedings are a lawless breach of trial ethics and lawyerly conduct. Jack Smith’s actions brought disrepute to the Justice Department and the federal government as a whole, and he should face discipline appropriately.'

Smith's case against Trump, stemming from accusations he tried to overturn the 2020 election, was supposed to go to trial in March but has been stuck in limbo as the Supreme Court weighs the ex-president's claim he is immune to criminal prosecution for actions taken while in the White House.

The former U.S. attorney and human rights prosecutor petitioned the high court multiple times to reject Trump's immunity claims and bid to delay his trial, including most recently on April 8.

Stefanik's complaint accused him of first trying to influence the election in August 2023, when Smith petitioned for a Jan. 2, 2024 trial.

'There exist approximately thirteen million pages of discovery for President Trump to review, plus thousands of hours of camera footage. Prosecutors bringing a case of this complexity — with so many consequential and novel legal issues to sort out — would normally never seek to bring it to trial within five months,' she argued. 

'The only reason to push for such an early trial date was to work to get the case tried before the November election, and the Justice Department Manual clearly forbids Jack Smith from taking any action on that basis.'

She also cited Smith's petitions with the Supreme Court and used his own comments in court that no American is 'above the law' as further argument that he should support an investigation into his conduct.

'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 said. '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.'

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, heard arguments in Trump's immunity case last week. A final decision is expected in June — with the likelihood of a trial before the presidential election being slim.

Fox News Digital reached out to the DOJ for comment.


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