Special counsel Jack Smith returns to US weeks after being appointed Trump investigator: Report
The Justice Department’s special counsel tasked with overseeing two major investigations into former President Donald Trump has reportedly returned to the United States after staying in Europe to recover from an injury.
Special counsel Jack Smith returned to the country weeks after being appointed to head the DOJ investigations in November, initiating a series of high-profile moves from The Hague, sources told the Washington Post. It’s not entirely clear when Smith returned to the U.S., but officials told the outlet on Tuesday he had been back “for some time.”
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Smith was appointed on Nov. 18 to oversee the DOJ’s investigations into Trump’s conduct during the Jan. 6 riot, as well as his handling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home, where the FBI recovered classified documents that were taken from the White House when he left office. The Justice Department announced Smith would assume the position while recovering from an injury in the Netherlands, but it did not specify how the special counsel would carry out his tasks.
However, since being appointed, Smith has already initiated a series of high-profile moves, such as requesting a judge to hold Trump in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena and bringing a number of the former president’s closest aides before a grand jury to testify.
The Justice Department has not yet announced Smith’s return to the U.S. The Washington Examiner reached out to the DOJ for comment.
As part of his appointment, Smith is set to take on two different teams investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election and the subsequent Jan. 6 riot, as well as the possible mishandling of classified documents that were taken to Mar-a-Lago, according to CNN.
Since Thanksgiving, Smith has called two former White House lawyers, three of Trump’s closest aides, and former speechwriter Stephen Miller before a grand jury in Washington to give testimony. Smith has also issued a number of subpoenas to local officials in battleground states where Trump sought to overturn election results requesting communications with the former president in the weeks following the 2020 election.
Prosecutors have sought details about meetings in which Trump and some of his allies suggested submitting alternative slates of electors who could be called on in the event the election was decertified, sources told the news outlet. Previous reporting said the DOJ had been investigating such Trump allies as John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani for their part in advising the former president as they developed strategies to block President Joe Biden’s path to the White House.
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The DOJ has also received the phone records of top officials in the Trump administration, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows, sources told the Washington Post late last year. The investigation aims to uncover what the former president told his attorneys and senior officials to do as part of their bid to change the 2020 election outcome, and there are two other paths that could lead to additional scrutiny of Trump, the sources said.
One centers on seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct a government proceeding, similar to charges levied against those arrested after storming the Capitol. Another involves charging Trump with fraud in connection to the false electors plot or his efforts to pressure the DOJ to overturn the results of the election.