Jack Smith is in charge of directing the ongoing inquiries into how Trump handled sensitive and official documents at Mar-a-Lago. Who exactly is Jack Smith, the special counsel appointed in Trump probes?
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Jack Smith, who was designated as special counsel in two investigations concerning former President Donald Trump by Attorney General Merrick Garland on November 18, is a senior prosecutor with the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Smith most recently served as the chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague that looked into and adjudicated Kosovo war crimes. Prior to joining the Hague, he served as vice president of litigation for HCA Healthcare, one of the biggest US healthcare organizations.
Following Garland’s decision, Smith released a statement in which he stated his intention to carry out the inquiries and any potential prosecutions “independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice.”
“The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch. I will exercise independent judgement and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate,” Smith said.
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After earning his law degree from Harvard in 1994, Smith began working as an assistant district attorney for the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York for nine years starting in 1999. According to the DOJ, this job required him to oversee the criminal litigation unit, which prosecuted cases featuring public corruption, violent crime and gangs, and white collar and complex financial fraud.
He investigated war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide while employed by the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor from 2008 to 2010.
He returned to the DOJ in 2010 and worked there for five years as the head of the Public Integrity Section in Washington, where he was in charge of prosecuting crimes involving public corrections all across the country, according to the department. During this period, his unit successfully prosecuted former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and Arizona U.S. Representative Rick Renzi for bribery and extortion.
Smith was named first assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee in 2015, and then became acting U.S. attorney in 2017.
Smith was referred to by Garland as the “right choice to complete these matters in an even-handed and urgent manner” in a speech announcing the special counsel’s appointment.
“Throughout his career, Jack Smith has built a reputation as an impartial and determined prosecutor, who leads teams with energy and focus to follow the facts wherever they lead,” Garland said.
Garland stated that Smith will start his duties as special counsel straight away and travel back to the United States from The Hague.
Smith is in charge of directing the ongoing inquiries into how Trump handled sensitive and official documents at Mar-a-Lago, as well as the Washington-based inquiries into any potential illegal meddling in the transfer of power following the 2020 election or the certification of the electoral college vote on January 6, 2021.