Bob McDonnell, A Past Jack Smith Target, Rips ‘Overzealous’ Trump Prosecutor
Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell (C) pauses as he speaks to members of the media outside U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia after his sentencing was announced by a federal judge January 6, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia. McDonnell was sentenced 24 months in prison for 11 counts of corruption charges.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell condemned Jack Smith, the special counsel prosecuting former President Donald Trump in a documents case, speaking with an air of personal experience.

“I think he’s overzealous and overaggressive,” McDonnell said in a Wednesday interview with Newsmax, a day after Trump was arraigned in Miami. He added that Smith “would rather win than get it right.”

Smith oversaw the Department of Justice’s public integrity unit that scored a bribery and extortion conviction against McDonnell in a gifts case that was then thrown out by the Supreme Court with an 8-0 decision in 2016. Smith’s record includes the unsuccessful prosecution against former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC).

McDonnell said Smith is “willing to extend the law to the point to get a win and that’s absolutely wrong,” alluding to Chief Justice John Roberts writing in the court’s opinion of McDonnell’s case, rejecting the government’s “boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute.”

On Tuesday, Trump appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to 37 charges, including 31 alleged violations of the Espionage Act for “willful retention” of national defense information, as well as charges related to obstruction and making false statements.

During an address to supporters at his New Jersey resort that evening, Trump accused Smith of running “political hit jobs,” name-dropping McDonnell specifically, and called the special counsel a “thug.”

McDonnell said he appreciated the support. The makeup of the jury will dictate whether Trump’s verbal attacks on Smith were a good idea, McDonnell said, adding that there is “criminal culpability” if the evidence in the indictment is “actually proven.”


After the indictment was unsealed last week, Smith said he hoped for a “speedy trial” in the Trump case. “We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone,” Smith said. “Applying those laws, collecting facts, that’s what determines the outcome of an investigation. Nothing more, nothing less.”

David Harbach, who served as a leading prosecutor in the cases against McDonnell and Edwards, spoke for the government during Trump’s arraignment, which shows Smith brought the “gang” back together, McDonnell said.

Also referring to Smith, McDonnell said he is concerned there is “a desire to win with a high-profile political figure in the middle of a campaign maybe being more of a motivation than getting the law right.”

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Bob McDonnell, A Past Jack Smith Target, Rips ‘Overzealous’ Trump Prosecutor