EXCLUSIVE: Matt Gaetz Calls On DOJ Inspector General To Investigate Jack Smith

Special counsel's investigation 'is a partisan exercise, and the American people know it,' Gaetz tells The Daily Wire
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) departs from a meeting with House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol Building on October 19, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is asking the independent watchdog of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate special counsel Jack Smith over whether the prosecutor is allowing the 2024 election to impact the timeline of his case against former President Donald Trump.

In a Wednesday letter obtained exclusively by The Daily Wire, Gaetz raises concerns to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz about Smith pressing the Supreme Court to fast-track consideration of Trump’s presidential immunity claim to clear the way for a trial. The congressman draws attention to a section of the Justice Manual that says federal prosecutors “may never select the timing of any action, including investigative steps, criminal charges, or statements, for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party.”

The congressman says the memo is “quite clear” and opined that Smith’s filing to the Supreme Court in December “tacitly concedes” a violation of DOJ rules, as Trump is running another campaign for the White House in this year’s election. “Specifically, that reply brief repeatedly urges ‘rapid’ review of the federal prosecution of Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump, and the incredible ‘public importance’ of the case, without once explicitly stating why the rapidity is warranted, or what the public importance is,” Gaetz says.

“Were there a legitimate, non-election related purpose for this request, these attorneys, who have filed in appeals courts many times, would have listed such. Since charges have been filed and the defendant himself is taking a legal position on timing and lodging various appeals, that justification cannot, for example, be the rights of the defendant under the Constitution or Speedy Trial Act,” Gaetz continues. “So, there can be only one conclusion: Special Counsel Jack Smith sees it as of paramount importance to hold a trial before the November 2024 election, but he is unable to explicitly say so, as such a justification is in violation of Departmental policy and law.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty in the federal case in which he is accused of unlawfully plotting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. His lawyers filed to dismiss the case in October by arguing that Trump’s actions were “within the heartland” of his “official duties.” The ensuing battle over the immunity claim led to the presiding judge’s plan for a March 4 trial start date to fall by the wayside.

The Supreme Court rejected Smith’s request to quickly take up the immunity question in December, leaving the issue to first be considered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. After a panel of the appeals court ruled against the immunity claim, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the issue last month and has scheduled an oral argument date for April 25.

Gaetz told The Daily Wire that Smith’s investigation is clearly a “partisan exercise.”

“The witch hunt against President Trump by Attorney General Garland and Special Counsel Smith is a partisan exercise, and the American people know it,” Gaetz said on Wednesday. “The actions of the Special Counsel Smith to speed up the trial against President Trump violate the DOJ’s rules and the law. His public comments and his office’s briefs before the Supreme Court demonstrate that he has no reason for his actions other than to unlawfully interfere in the 2024 presidential election.”

Trump is facing three other criminal cases, including another one led by Smith over the former president’s handling of classified documents, as well as civil litigation. Trump has broadly denied any wrongdoing and has argued that politically motivated prosecutors are conducting a “witch hunt” against him. Trump recently cited presidential immunity in a request to get the documents case dismissed.

Gaetz, a lawyer, lays out his argument in the letter for why it’s legally improper to carry out the case during “election season.”

“It is indisputable that we are already in an election season. However, the Justice Manual does not set hard dates,” Gaetz says in his letter. “It is the core of prohibited conduct that a purpose (not the purpose) of any official action of a prosecutor be to affect any election: it may be morally correct that the American people should see swift resolution of this case, perhaps with dropped charges or a Trump acquittal before the November 2024 Presidential election, but wielding Executive Branch authority in the service of this is a violation of law. Prosecutors must be held to a higher standard.”

After accusing the DOJ of failing to comply with oversight requests from Congress, Gaetz goes on to implore Horowitz to give his “immediate attention into compliance of the Office of Special Counsel Jack Smith with Departmental regulations, particularly related to investigatory and prosecutorial actions during an election season.”

“The precise scope of an investigation may be as narrow as interviewing the Special Counsel, and determining that he has a lawful purpose in seeking the expediting of his case against Donald Trump, and determining that he did not have the purpose of keying a trial date to the election calendar. Or it may be wider,” the letter concludes. “Please alert my office of any developments in this matter.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  EXCLUSIVE: Matt Gaetz Calls On DOJ Inspector General To Investigate Jack Smith