Stefanik Files Ethics Complaint Against Jack Smith

Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York, submitted an ethics complaint against special counsel Jack Smith on Tuesday. She accused Smith, who is in charge of the federal investigations into former President Trump, of attempting to unlawfully interfere with the 2024 presidential election.

Stefanik, who is the House GOP conference chair and a close ally of Trump, submitted a complaint to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility. She argues that Smith is attempting to expedite Trump’s case of subverting the federal election.

“According to Stefanik, it is clear to anyone who is reasonable that Jack Smith is attempting to interfere with the 2024 election and prevent the American people from electing Donald Trump,” stated Stefanik. “At every opportunity, he has tried to speed up the illegal prosecution of President Trump with the clear intention (although not explicitly stated) of having the trial before the November election.”

According to her argument, Smith believes that censuring is necessary because she claims that Smith violated the Justice Department’s manual. She points to a specific section that states attorneys should not time their actions to influence elections.

“Smith’s behavior has caused a loss of respect for the Department of Justice and the entire federal government, and the…” Stefanik stated that the Office of Professional Responsibility should impose the appropriate discipline for such behavior.

The New York Republican is using Smith’s actions in court as evidence of political bias. This includes asking the Supreme Court to consider Trump’s immunity claims before they were reviewed by an appeals court.

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The complaint is not likely to result in any action from the Justice Department. This is because Smith’s case began with an indictment in August 2023, which was 15 months before the presidential election. Smith’s office chose not to provide a comment on Stefanik’s letter.

The Justice Department has an unofficial policy called the “60-day rule.” This rule encourages prosecutors to avoid taking any actions that could affect an election in the 60 days leading up to it.

A member of Smith’s team who is handling Trump’s documents case in Florida recently explained that they interpret the “60-day rule” to mean that any investigative steps or filing a case that could impact an election should be completed within 60 days, rather than prolonging ongoing efforts in a case.

Jay Bratt, who is the prosecutor, informed the judge in that particular case that Smith’s team had sought advice from the department’s Public Integrity Section regarding the specific part of the manual mentioned by Stefanik.

“That provision does not apply to cases that have already been charged and are currently being litigated.” It does not apply to choosing a date for a trial. “We are completely following the rules,” Bratt told the court.

Trump is the first presidential candidate to challenge the rule by being prosecuted while running for office. Stefanik is making a complaint that is similar to arguments made by Trump’s lawyers in court. They are saying that they are struggling to review all the evidence in the case.

She also carefully examines Smith’s submissions to the Supreme Court. Smith suggested that the court should bypass the appeals court and consider Trump’s argument that he cannot be prosecuted as a former president. This is an unusual request that, if granted, would have resolved the issue more quickly. “Besides the upcoming election, why is it important for the public to have a prompt resolution of this case?” Stefanik wrote.

She also criticized Smith for submitting a document in the case after District Judge Tanya Chutkan had temporarily stopped the legal process. Although the deadlines in the case were removed, her order did not prevent new filings. However, following complaints from Trump, Chutkan instructed Smith’s team to obtain permission before submitting any new filings.

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