Following the unprecedented indictment of a former president last week, a leading House Republican is interrogating Attorney General Merrick Garland about special counsel Jack Smith’s prosecutorial team.
Smith was designated by Garland to investigate former President Donald Trump’s possession of classified documents following an August FBI operation to seize them. A week ago, Trump was indicted on 37 counts amid government allegations that he mishandled some and was not entitled to others.
Now, Rep. Matt Gaetz, in a letter to Garland, is “demanding information on the office of special counsel” after it was revealed “that one of the prosecutors on his team investigating Trump for his alleged mishandling of classified documents previously contributed to President Biden’s 2020 campaign and faced misconduct allegations in 2009,” Fox News reported.
Gaetz wants the identities of Smith’s team in particular.
The Florida Republican claimed in his letter that the special counsel’s past work “is both highly irregular and of extraordinary public concern,” specifically “how his office is structured.” He gave Garland until July 7 to produce “all staff rosters, phone lists, or similar records, within the custody or control of the Department of Justice, depicting all employees hired by or detailed to the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith.”
The lawmaker added that it is “beyond debate” that the information, such as Smith’s team members, should be made public. In addition, he stated that “this simple staff list cannot be withheld from Congress or the public based on flimsy and completely fictitious privacy concerns.”
Fox News added:
Gaetz noted that one of Smith’s named deputies, Karen Gilbert, resigned from her position as chief of the narcotics division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in 2009 following allegations of misconduct, prompting an apology from the DOJ at the time.
According to Federal Election Commission documents, Gilbert has also contributed more than $2,000 to the campaigns of former presidents Joe Biden and Barack Obama.
Gaetz threatened in his letter to take congressional action to defund Smith’s office.
“While there are innumerable valid legislative purposes for this request, it should be obvious that doing due diligence in vetting an office that has apparently done no vetting of its own personnel, or worse, might affirmatively be seeking to staff with sanctioned lawyers and partisan hatchet-men (and women), is an entirely appropriate purpose and one small reason I am requesting this information,” wrote the lawmaker.
“The 118th Congress has procedural tools in place to allow for targeted recission of funds from components or subcomponents of agencies that are not operating in the public interest,” he added.
The same day Gaetz sent his letter, Trump appeared in federal court in Miami to be arraigned on a 37-count indictment filed by Smith for allegedly mishandling classified documents.
More on this story via Conservative Brief:
On Monday, the previous day, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) announced she would be filing legislation to defund Smith’s office and shut down the probes into Trump. CONTINUE READING…