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Conservatives complain about Trump special counsel wife’s links to Michelle Obama

Republicans cry foul and point to Democrats’ anger over Ginni Thomas’s efforts to overturn 2020 election

John Bowden
Washington DC
Tuesday 22 November 2022 19:35 GMT
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US attorney general announces special counsel to oversee Trump probes

Conservatives are furious after it was revealed that the wife of the prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to determine whether Donald Trump will face any criminal charges is apparently a Democratic donor who was involved in a documentary about Michelle Obama.

Jack Smith, a career prosecutor at the Justice Department, was tapped by Mr Garland to make the decision regarding Mr Trump’s legal fate earlier this month. It notably followed the announcement by Mr Trump that he would seek the White House a third time.

Now, it’s been revealed through media reports that Katy Chevigny, Mr Smith’s wife, was a producer on the former first lady’s 2020 documentary Becoming, based on her memoir by the same name. She also donated twice to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign for president, according to FEC documents.

The news has conservatives up in arms as Mr Trump’s supporters take it as proof that the Justice Department is being wielded as a political weapon by Mr Biden against the former president. Notably, there is no requirement in federal law that the spouses of federal law enforcement agents, prosecutors, or other officials be restricted from campaign activity or political donations.

“You just can’t make this stuff up,” wrote Congressman Andrew Clyde on Twitter. “Katy Chevigny, wife of Jack Smith—the special counsel appointed by DOJ to go after President Trump, donated to Joe Biden’s campaign and produced Michelle Obama’s documentary.”

“America cannot stand with a corrupt, two-tiered justice system,” added Mr Clyde, who famously compared rioters who clashed with police resulting in numerous deaths on January 6 to “tourists”.

Taylor Budowich, a former spokesman for Mr Trump, added: “Very interesting… was just told the wife isn’t only a major donor, but also the producer of the gushing Michelle Obama documentary…No wonder Jack Smith accepted this special assignment…The swamp is hard at work!”

Mr Trump remains at the centre of two investigations being run by the Department of Justice — one dealing with January 6 and the efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and another into his retention of presidential records from the White House at Mar-a-Lago upon leaving office.

Members of his 2020 legal team remain embroiled in a separate probe being run by prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, over the efforts to influence the results in that state. In New York, the Trump Organization faces a civil case launched by the state attorney general and a criminal tax fraud case brought by Manhattan’s district attorney.

Mr Trump has long insisted that the various legal battles are all a symptom of his political enemies’ efforts to tarnish his reputation and prevent him from seeking the presidency.

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