Legal experts rallied to Donald Trump's defense Friday in criticizing Attorney General Merrick Garland's appointment of former federal attorney Jack Smith as special counsel to head the Department of Justice's investigations of the former president.
Smith was the chief prosecutor at The Hague investigating war crimes in Kosovo and who led the DOJ unit involved in investigating public corruption in the Obama administration. Smith, said to be a political independent, will oversee the investigations of Trump's alleged role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and of his storing presidential documents at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Trump has denied all allegations.
Garland's announcement comes three days after Trump said he would run for president in 2024.
"Jack Smith is well-known and liked in leftist circles because of his role in the IRS scandal, working with Lois Lerner to illicitly target conservative groups," tweeted Mike Howell, head of The Heritage Foundation's Oversight Project and former attorney for the House Oversight Committee.
Howell posted a link to a 2014 letter by Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Darrell Issa, R-Calif., of the House Oversight Committee about Smith's role in helping Lerner, an Internal Revenue Service official, with the campaign in 2010 against conservative groups in the wake of the landmark Citizens United v. FEC ruling by the Supreme Court that ended federal regulations on campaign financing.
The letter stated Smith "was closely involved in engaging with the IRS in wake of Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to address perceived problems with the decision."
Mike Davis, president of the Article III Project, which advocates for constitutionalist judges, and a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, tweeted, "By appointing a special counsel to investigate his boss's political enemy, Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to politicize and weaponize the Biden Justice Department — all while Garland ignores smoking-gun evidence of Biden's foreign corruption."
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, tweeted: "There is no good-faith basis for the any of the DOJ 'investigations' of Trump, let alone a special counsel."
And Will Chamberlain, a lawyer and member of the Article III project, called the move "insane and stupid" in a tweet.
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