Stefanik Files Ethics Complaint Against Special Counsel Jack Smith

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    Elise Stefanik with Donald Trump via Wikimedia Commons

    On Tuesday, House GOP conference chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) filed an ethics complaint against special counsel Jack Smith on Tuesday, accusing the prosecutor overseeing the federal investigations into former President Trump of trying to “unlawfully interfere with the 2024 presidential election.”

    The New York Congresswoman filed the complaint with the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, arguing that Smith is trying to “rush” Trump’s federal election subversion case.

    “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 said in a statement. “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.”

    Smith should be censured for violating the Justice Department’s manual, she argues, citing a section that says attorneys may “never select the timing of any action…for the purpose of affecting any election.”

    “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,” Stefanik said in her statement.

    The complaint is unlikely to prompt any action from the Justice Department, however, as Smith’s case kicked off with an August 2023 indictment, some 15 months ahead of the presidential election.

    Though an unwritten policy, the Justice Department encourages prosecutors to follow the “60-day rule” — avoiding any action that might influence an election.

    In November, Stefanik filed an ethics complaint against Judge Arthur Engoron, who oversaw the former president’s civil fraud trial, accusing him of “inappropriate bias and judicial intemperance.” 

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