Rep. Elise Stefanik Files Ethics Complaint Against Jack Smith

Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) filed an ethics complaint against special counsel Jack Smith.

Stefanik has accused Smith of violating Department of Justice (DOJ) policies and interfering with the 2024 presidential election.

“It’s obvious to any reasonable observer that Jack Smith is trying to interfere with the 2024 election and stop the American people from electing Donald Trump,” Stefanik wrote on X. “At every turn, he has sought to accelerate his illegal prosecution of President Trump for the clear (if unstated) purpose of trying him before the November election. The Justice Department’s own policies clearly prohibit Smith from doing so, and as a DOJ employee he is bound by those policies. Moreover, when the district court imposed a stay on the proceedings, Smith and his office ignored it and continued to file discovery documents. Smith’s conduct has brought disrepute to the Department of Justice and the entire federal government, and the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility should impose the discipline that such conduct warrants.”

The representative alleged in the complaint that Smith abused the “resources of the federal government to unlawfully interfere with the 2024 presidential election” and has “violated long-standing, explicit Justice Department policy” by rushing to “trial the federal January 6th case against President Trump.”

“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,” she wrote. “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 efforts to “expedite the trial in order to influence the general election in November” violate the DOJ’s Justice Manual, Stefanik asserted. “Section 9-85.500 dictates that ‘[f]ederal prosecutors . . . may never select the timing of any action . . . for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party,'” she wrote.

The special counsel violated this rule in August and December December 2023.

“In February, President Trump petitioned for certiorari on the issue of presidential criminal immunity for official acts,” Stefanik added. “Biden special counsel Jack Smith—having supported certiorari just two months earlier—now opposed certiorari. Jack Smith effectively repudiated his own arguments from two months earlier, with little explanation for his about-face other than his naked assertion that ‘[t]he nation has a compelling interest in the prompt resolution of this case.'”

The representative asked, “If the case were so important that Jack Smith believed the Supreme Court should take the extraordinary step of granting certiorari before the Court of Appeals could weigh in, how could he now argue that the case was not important enough for even a normal grant of certiorari?” She emphasized that Smith’s “obvious goal was not to seek justice and the neutral application of the law, but rather to get President Trump– and get him before November.”

Smith also “repeatedly and deliberately violated the District Court’s stay of proceedings.”

The D.C. Rule of Professional Conduct prohibits counsel from “[k]nowingly disobey[ing] an obligation under the rules of a tribunal.”

Stefanik quoted Smith as saying that “no one in this country . . . is above the law.”

“If that is true,” she wrote, “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.”

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