Special counsel Jack Smith stared at Trump throughout historic court appearance, report says

The former president was arraigned in Miami on federal charges on Tuesday

Abe Asher
Friday 16 June 2023 19:20 BST
Donald Trump enters Miami courthouse as he is indicted for second time

Special Counsel Jack Smith reportedly stared down former President Donald Trump throughout the entirety of Mr Trump’s arraignment in Miami on Tuesday.

Hugo Lowell of The Guardian and other journalists reported that Mr Smith sat in the front row during Mr Trump’s arraignment on federal charges related to his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021 and “stared towards the former president for essentially the entire appearance.”

Mr Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the Department of Justice’s investigation into Mr Trump’s handling of classified documents and his attempts to overturn the reuslt of the 2020 presidential election.

Already, he has led an historic investigation: Mr Trump last week became the first former president ever indicted on federal charges just months after he became the first former president ever to be indicted at all when he was charged in New York over his alleged role in the payment of hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Mr Trump is facing 37 felony counts in connection to his handling of the documents and his alleged efforts to impede the government’s efforts to reacquire them. He has pleaded not guilty.

“Adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle of the Department of Justice and our nation’s commitment to the rule of law sets an example for the world,” Mr Smith told reporters at a press conference last Friday. “We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone.”

Mr Trump has not taken kindly to Mr Smith’s efforts. Shortly before his arraignment, he took to Truth Social to call the special counsel a “thug.”

“This is the Thug, over turned consistently and unanimously in big cases, that Biden and his CORRUPT Injustice Department stuck on me,” the former president wrote. “He’s a Radical Right Lunatic and Trump Hater, as are all his friends and family, who probably “planted” information in the “boxes” given to them. They taint everything that they touch, including our Country, which is rapidly going to HELL!”

Mr Smith has already had a decorated career at the Justice Department. He led the department’s public integrity unit from 2010 to 2015, taking part in investigations into former Sen John Edwards of North Carolina and former Gov Bob McDonnell of Virginia.

He then moved to become the assistant US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee and briefly served as acting US attorney before moving into private law with the Hospital Corporation of America before becoming chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague.

In the courtroom in Miami, Mr Smith reportedly cut an intimidating figure.

Mr Trump and Mr Smith will likely lock horns again in the coming months as this case and the Justice Department’s investigation into the efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election unfold. In the meantime, Mr Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president — a fact that could complicate the ongoing prosecutions of him.

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