House Judiciary Seeks Documents From Jack Smith Over Trump Cases

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‘Based on publicly available information, the Committee has significant concerns about your commitment to evenhanded justice.’

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) have demanded documents from special counsel Jack Smith seeking information about his investigation of former President Donald Trump, and threatening a subpoena if the Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to ignore similar requests they submitted earlier this year.

“Based on publicly available information, the Committee has significant concerns about your commitment to evenhanded justice,” the House Republicans wrote on Thursday in a letter to the special counsel.

Mr. Jordan and Mr. Biggs are asking for documents, including communications between the special counsel and the U.S. Attorney General’s office regarding investigating and prosecuting President Trump, salaries and travel costs incurred by special counsel staff working on the Trump case, and hiring criteria for the team.

They gave a deadline of Jan. 4 for the requested materials.

Mr. Smith is prosecuting former President Donald Trump in two separate federal criminal investigations, one alleging mishandling of classified documents and another alleging interference in the 2020 elections. He was appointed special counsel last November to investigate matters related to Jan. 6, 2021.

The committee chairs pointed out that this is a prosecution by the Biden administration of “President Biden’s chief opponent in the upcoming presidential election,” and that a record showing partiality has emerged.

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“You have a record of attempting to criminalize political discourse, as evidenced by your reported interest in how the Justice Department could prosecute conservative tax-exempt groups engaging in constitutionally protected political speech,” the letter reads.

They called into question Mr. Smith’s appointment as special counsel, raising questions of “fairness and justice.”

They cited a Washington Post report that quoted top DOJ officials opposing the investigation into President Trump for his role on Jan. 6, and recent reports that the special counsel demanded from Twitter (now X) information about users who reposted or liked President Trump’s posts.

This is within the committee’s purview, they noted, because it could inform legislation “including possible reforms regarding politically motivated prosecutions.”

Repeat Requests

The House Judiciary had previously made three requests for information from the DOJ concerning “politicized” prosecutions.

On June 1, Mr. Jordan requested information about how Mr. Smith was using FBI personnel in his investigations, highlighting recent reports of political bias in the department.

On June 6, Mr. Jordan requested the unredacted version of the memo outlining the scope of Mr. Smith’s authority as special counsel, citing concerns about overreach in the FBI raid on President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, in August 2022. The raid resulted in a case Mr. Smith is prosecuting.

On Sept. 7, Mr. Jordan requested documents and communications between the special counsel’s office and defense attorney Stanley Woodward. Mr. Woodward is representing a codefendant in the Mar-a-Lago case and had alleged that an attorney from the special counsel’s office tried to bribe him to turn his client against President Trump.

The special counsel’s office was not immediately available for comment.

Investigating Trump Cases

A number of House Republicans have been outspoken about the multiple ongoing cases against President Trump, who has maintained a wide lead as the GOP frontrunner and looks ever more likely to become the party’s nominee.

He has been on trial in New York in a civil fraud case since October, and litigating pretrial motions in four separate criminal cases to which he has pleaded not guilty to 91 counts.

In Georgia, President Trump faces racketeering charges in his challenge of the 2020 elections.

Mr. Jordan has also opened a probe into prosecutor Fani Willis, the Fulton County District Attorney, citing concerns that the investigation is politically motivated. Ms. Willis has been campaigning and fundraising as of late, with events coinciding with the high-profile litigation of the case against President Trump and more than a dozen others.

The committee later expanded that probe to cover potential “collusion” between Ms. Willis and the Jan. 6 Select Committee, which produced a highly controversial report accusing President Trump of wrongdoing.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has also called attention to potential bias in Trump cases, filing an ethics complaint in November against New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who is presiding over the civil fraud trial. She cited concerning statements the judge had made before and during the trial, and questioned a pretrial ruling the judge made in finding President Trump liable for fraud before hearing his defense.

Closing arguments for the New York case are scheduled for Jan. 11, and defense attorneys are expected to appeal shortly after the judge makes his ruling.

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