"Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed local officials in Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin…for any and all communications with Trump, his campaign and a long list of aides and allies." https://t.co/brq8Zlws7J
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) December 6, 2022
John L. Smith has a considerable CV, which would indicate that he’s a very effective prosecutor, but not one much given to self-publicity:
… The requests for records arrived in Dane County, Wis.; Maricopa County, Ariz.; and Wayne County, Mich., late last week, and in Milwaukee on Monday, officials said. They are among the first known subpoenas issued since Smith was named last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee Trump-related aspects of the investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as the criminal probe of Trump’s possible mishandling of classified documents at his Florida home and private club.
The subpoenas, at least three of which are dated Nov. 22, indicate that the Justice Department is extending its examination of the circumstances leading up to the Capitol attack to include local election officials and their potential interactions with the former president and his representatives related to the 2020 election…
The department’s long-running Jan. 6 investigation has moved beyond the large pool of people who directly took part in the bloody riot at the U.S. Capitol to focus on other aspects of the attempts to overturn the election results. Prosecutors are examining the fundraising, organizing and rhetoric that preceded the riot, and looking at failed efforts to authorize alternate slates of electors. They secured subpoenas this spring and summer for communications between Trump’s inner circle and scores of campaign officials, potential electors and others.
After Trump declared last month that he would again seek the White House in 2024, Garland appointed Smith, a longtime federal prosecutor who once headed the Justice Department’s public corruption section, to oversee the elements of the Jan. 6 investigation potentially related to the former president.
Smith also is overseeing the Mar-a-Lago criminal investigation, which began this spring, after months of disagreement between Trump and the National Archives and Records Administration over boxes of documents that followed the former president from the White House to Mar-a-Lago, his Florida residence and private club…
About those Mar-a-Lago boxes…
Scoop: items with classified markings found at Trump storage unit in Florida — showing Trump had documents not just at Mar-a-Lago and reemphasizing he did not fully comply with May subpoena. https://t.co/mY1ynGiPd5
— Rosalind Helderman (@PostRoz) December 7, 2022
… The ultimate significance of the classified material in the storage unit is not immediately clear, but its presence there indicates Mar-a-Lago was not the only place where Trump kept classified material. It also provides further evidence that Trump and his team did not fully comply with a May grand jury subpoena that sought all documents marked classified still in possession of the post-presidential office…
Nicolle Wallace on the discovery of more classified documents stolen by Trump, "Of course, there's more. There's probably stuff shoved in his sock drawer, too. " #DeadlineWH pic.twitter.com/2qoAGbWnIM
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) December 7, 2022
So… there is shovel work being done, but we shouldn’t expect immediate press releases:
This is a special counsel taking the 1/6/21 investigation very seriously. It is NOT a special counsel close to indicting on that investigation.https://t.co/kAKff41Wk0
— Popehat (@Popehat) December 6, 2022
Never got to post this, last month:
“No amount of mudslinging — or claims he ‘won't partake’ in the investigation — will protect Trump from indictment if Smith determines he has the goods.” https://t.co/TFcCKH1laP
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) November 24, 2022
Between the lines: At least three major factors distinguish the new special counsel from the challenges and constraints of the Mueller investigation:
– Protection: Trump is no longer in office, meaning the Justice Department policy that barred Mueller from indicting a sitting president does not apply. The tools Trump wielded to discredit and jam up the investigation — threatening to fire DOJ officials, dangling pardons and using his bully pulpit — are no longer available to him. Nor is his loyalist Attorney General Bill Barr, who cushioned the blow of the final Mueller report by releasing a summary before making it public.
– Timing: Both Garland and Smith have stressed that the appointment will not slow the pace of either investigation. Smith is inheriting teams of prosecutors and agents that have already made significant headway, unlike Mueller, who had to “fly and build the plane simultaneously,” as Weissman wrote in a recent N.Y. Times column.
– Scope: The sprawling Mueller probe involved both criminal and counterintelligence elements, with much of the key information buried in the bowels of a hostile foreign power. By comparison, the House Jan. 6 committee has already unearthed massive amounts of evidence expected to be referred to DOJ, while the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case is viewed by many legal experts as open-and-shut…
Smith, like Mueller, is only human. But the similarities between the two special counsels’ situations largely end with the title they share.
In 2010, after being criticized for closing corruption cases into members of Congress, Smith told the N.Y. Times: “[I]f I were the sort of person who could be cowed — ‘I know we should bring this case, I know the person did it, but we could lose, and that will look bad,’ I would find another line of work.”
Smart @AshaRangappa_ piece on why new prosecutor Jack Smith mustn't repeat Mueller's mistake of keeping a "vow of silence" about his investigation: https://t.co/MJfJdWrs1K
False "facts", once established, can be hard to dislodge. Smith can't let Trump defenders own the story.
— Rob Lewis (@🏠 🙏🇺🇦) (@GRobLewis) November 29, 2022
Smith’s appointment did *not* come as a pleasant surprise to TFG, for what that’s worth:
Totally normal and not at all dangerously deranged. pic.twitter.com/3sktJ69lCt
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) November 27, 2022
#JackSmith has resting conviction face.
— FRO?????????? (@FROsunLiberal) December 8, 2022