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Trump indictment ridiculed by ex-Reagan DOJ official, citing prosecutor’s McDonnell, Edwards case failures

Former Ronald Reagan administration Justice Department chief of staff Jack Smith said Friday that special counsel Jack Smith’s 37 indictments against former President Donald Trump contained “fierce outrage” but were typical. said it lacked a key element of any document fraud case.

Mark Levin, the host of “Life Liberty and Levin” and a top staffer to then-Attorney General Edwin Meath III, said the criminal prosecution of Smith would not have involved Trump destroying classified information. said it lacked evidence of substantial maltreatment.

Levin said the former Kosovar war criminals prosecutor, who at one point headed the Obama Justice Department’s public justice division, had a history of over-prosecuting certain cases.

He noted that during Smith’s tenure, the Justice Department convicted then-Virginia Republican Governor Bob McDonnell of bona fide service fraud and illegal gift-acceptance charges before the High Court stepped in.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court later effectively reprimanded the prosecution and unanimously ruled that McDonnell’s conviction was overruled because the definition of “official conduct” was too broad.

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Special Counsel Jack Smith (Screenshot/AP photo from FOX News)

Chief Justice John Roberts said the jury’s instructions regarding “public conduct” in McDonnell’s trial were extensive and could include virtually any action a public official might take during his tenure, making political decisions across the country more likely. I agreed with Mr. McDonnell that the house would be subject to the whim of the prosecutor. But the court took no official position on whether McDonnell could be retrialed within the scope of a well-coordinated prosecution.

Smith also witnessed a campaign-finance prosecution in which former Democratic presidential candidate and then-North Carolina senator John Edwards declared a miscarriage of justice, Levin said.

The New York Times at the time called it a high-profile example of several “visible efforts” by Smith’s Department of Justice department, which resulted in unsuccessful indictments, including against then-senators. or listed other investigations that were not initiated. John Ensign (R-Nevada), former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), late Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), former congressman. Alan Molohan, DW.V.

“This Smith has the record,” Levin said. “Pursuing a former Virginia governor was reprimanded 8-0 by the Supreme Court. One of the few cases where everyone came together.” [he] ruined [McDonnell’s] career. “

“And he’s doing the same to John Edwards of North Carolina, whose jury has turned against him, because he’s known for making laws and pushing the boundaries wherever possible. because they are,” Levin continued.

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Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump at the season finale of Celebrity Apprentice on May 10, 2009 (Bill Tompkins/Getty Images)

“And that’s exactly what he’s done here with his layered charges, and he’s gone on and on and on, behind his client’s privilege.”

Other legal experts, such as President Bush’s Assistant Attorney General John Yu, said the indictment ignored “major constitutional” concerns such as separation of powers and presidential authority.

In response to Mr. Smith’s brief public statement shortly before, Mr. Yu might think that the DOJ arrested the Pentagon official who stole the documents and brought them home, rather than the ex-president, who has legally greater powers. said it couldn’t.

“It is the first time that not only a former president but also a leading candidate of a major political party in an upcoming election has been indicted for federal crimes,” Yu said.

“Under the Constitution, you can’t just say, ‘Oh, the special counsel made the decision,'” he said, adding that constitutionally, President Biden is the person responsible for making such decisions. added. He noted that Biden is the current defendant’s main political opponent and that this is a “serious problem.”

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Bob McDonnell Romney

Then-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell speaks next to 2012 Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney at a rally in Portsmouth, Virginia. (Reuters/Mark McKellan)

Levin told “The Story” that if Trump actually committed a serious crime such as destroying or falsifying classified documents, Smith would lead an indictment on such charges. said deaf.

“I have a box [that] Moved – OK. So what happened to the box? According to the indictment, he signaled me to remove them. Nothing was removed. ”

Levin said Smith must have been “desperate” to find evidence that President Trump eventually intended to destroy the documents, which led the former president’s lawyers to believe that they had nothing to do. He said it opened up the possibility of pointing out that it had not been shredded and instead was trying to negotiate with the National Archives. .

President Trump has now left his longtime residence at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan and has his main residence in Palm Beach County, Fla. “The man has lived in two places and brought a box,” Levin said. said Mr.

By contrast, Hillary Clinton was found to have destroyed 30,000 classified and classified documents and is still not indicted because then-FBI Director James Comey refused to recommend the documents, Levin said. Stated.

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“They smashed my phone with a hammer. There was no warrant. There was no SWAT team. She had a private server at home. She lied, claiming it wasn’t classified. They lied. I found classified information.What is going on with the Department of Justice?”“Was the 2012 government special opinion that Hillary Clinton could not be indicted?And today their official opinion is, oh, false to us statement, and we have a conspiracy to interfere…” are you going to claim?

Mr Levin added that the indictment of Mr Smith would do lasting damage to the republic in that the sitting president was virtually successful in punishing his successor and arch-rival.

He said that if his former boss, Reagan’s former boss, Mies, believed that former President Jimmy Carter had committed unlawful acts, he would not have aggressively pursued prosecution and offered a way to respond to Georgia Democrats. .

”[Meese] I would have picked up the phone and called [and said], Jimmy. Please give me the materials now. Please don’t force me to send these people. ”

Regarding “The Five,” Judge Janine Pirro, a longtime former county attorney in White Plains, New York, said Smith should certainly be embarrassed by the prosecution’s failures in the McDonnell and Edwards cases.

“What you have is Jack Smith, the loser prosecutor who was beaten up by the Supreme Court,” she said. “If I were a lawyer, I would give up my law license and hide under a rock.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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