Jack Smith, a longtime Justice Department prosecutor, has been named as the special counsel that Attorney General Merrick Garland announced on Friday to lead the criminal investigations into the storage of classified documents at the Mar-a-Lago resort owned by former President Donald Trump and portions of the January 6, 2021 uprising.
Following his announcement, Smith promised in a statement that he would carry out the inquiries “independently and in the finest traditions of the Department of Justice.
“Under my direction, the investigations’ speed won’t slow down or falter. Smith declared, “I will use my own discretion and conduct the investigations swiftly and completely to whatever conclusion the evidence and the law require.
In 1994, Smith started his legal career with the New York County District Attorney’s Office as an assistant district attorney. According to the Justice Department, he began working as an assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of New York in 1999, where he prosecuted cases including civil rights abuses and the murder of police officers by gangs.
He began working for the International Criminal Court in 2008 and managed war crimes inquiries for the prosecutor’s office for two years. He assumed the position of chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section in 2010, where he handled the prosecution of cases involving public corruption. In 2015, he was named first assistant US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Early in 2017, after David Rivera left his position as US Attorney, Smith took over as acting US Attorney. Later that year, he left the Justice Department and joined the Hospital Corporation of America as vice president of litigation. He looked into war crimes in Kosovo before becoming head prosecutor for the special court in The Hague in 2018.
During the announcement on Friday, Garland stated that Smith had developed a reputation as an objective and tenacious prosecutor who led teams with vigour and focus to pursue the facts wherever they led. “Mr. Smith is the best option to resolve these issues in a timely and impartial manner.”
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