With the GOP's ascension to the House majority in the next session of Congress – and the anticipated demise of the J6 Committee – Attorney General Merrick Garland has tasked Jack Smith to look into the Mar-a-Lago documents seized by the FBI and Trump's alleged part in the January 6 Capitol riot.
In making the announcement on Friday, Garland explained that Smith is a veteran prosecutor who has served a variety of roles within the DOJ:
Garland: "Throughout his career, Jack Smith has built a reputation as an impartial and determined prosecutor who leads teams with energy and focus to follow the facts wherever they lead …. As special counsel, he will exercise independent prosecutorial judgment to decide whether charges should be brought."
Smith responded to the appointment by promising that any prosecutions resulting from the investigations will be carried out independently and "in the best traditions" of the DOJ.
The Associated Press reported on Saturday: "Colleagues who have worked with Smith describe him as hard-charging, fast-working and passionate, a prosecutor who operates free of political persuasion and who is relentless about his cases."
Gary Bauer of American Values says the praise for the Democrat-appointed attorney has been almost reflexive.
"The media immediately ran out with the report [saying] This is an individual who everybody respects. He's a non-partisan. Everybody can relax and trust him – and so forth," Bauer notes. "There's only one problem with that narrative – it's completely wrong."
Smith, Bauer explains, has been at the center of one of the most partisan scandals in the history of the DOJ. "He was the one who originally set up the meeting between Lois Lerner at the IRS and officials in the Justice Department to use the IRS to go after conservative and Christian organizations," he emphasizes.
In addition, Smith led the attack on former Republican Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell on charges the Supreme Court unanimously threw out – but not until McDonnell's political career was finished
Bauer argues the continuing war against Donald Trump shows the Left is fixated on the former president. "I think that the Left in America is more afraid of Donald Trump than they are of any other Republican potential presidential nominee," he adds.
In fact, AG Garland cited Trump's entry into the 2024 presidential race a few days earlier, along with President Biden's stated intention to run again, as reasons he acted when he did in appointing Smith.
And even though he considers the prosecution of the 45th president a sham, Bauer warns the consequences to Trump could be very real.
"I think there could be indictments," he states bluntly. "I think they would like to perp-walk him into a jail. I don't even want to imagine some of the other things that the Left and the leftist media might try in this country."
AP reports Smith will presumably have to move swiftly to ensure his work concludes before the home stretch of the 2024 presidential election, given the Justice Department's historic interest in avoiding action that could be seen as interfering in the outcome of a race.