Three House Republicans went out on a limb Friday and alleged partisan motivations on the part of Special Counsel Jack Smith. Kidding; we all know that Smith is dripping with partisan motivation. (Note the resistance with which Smith has met attempts by Judicial Watch even to learn the identities of his team members. https://www.judicialwatch.org/jack-smiths-staff/)
In a letter to Smith, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, and Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida said, “The Committee is concerned that your unprecedented investigation and fevered prosecution of President Trump is not about any true commitment to equal justice under the law, but an (increasingly contrived) attempt to use the criminal justice system to defame the former President before the 2024 election.”
And, yes, it’s called the House OVERSIGHT Committee in part because it does have OVERSIGHT of the “Justice” Department, with the responsibility to pass legislation pertaining to the agency’s actions. Accordingly, their letter called for Smith to turn over documents relating to his criminal prosecution of Trump.
As reported in the EPOCH TIMES, they demanded he hand over documents related to “Mr. Smith’s authority to grant immunity to witnesses and impanel a grand jury, as well as any communications that could speak to any oversight from the Department of Justice concerning Mr. Smith’s decision to indict President Trump.”
We assume they’re talking about both indictments Smith is prosecuting: the J6 case and the classified documents case.
Committee chairs have tried twice before to get similar information, but Smith’s office didn’t respond either time. Why would they think this letter will be different? Other House Republicans are trying uselessly to invoke the power of the purse to to restrict Smith’s funding or salary, but that’s destined to fail as well, as Democrats control both the Senate and White House.
Still, somebody must have had fun coming up with the acronym. It’s called the “YOU’RE FIRED” Act, short for “Yanking Outlays for an Unethical, Ruthless Enterprise that Fraudulently Impedes Robust Electoral Debate.” Wow, that could apply to a lot of governmental activities these days, but it can’t pass and so is really just more of a statement, an example of Congress fiddling with acronyms while Rome burns. It’s going to take a lot more than strongly-worded letters and bills to stop unethical, ruthless enterprises such as Jack Smith’s rabid prosecution.
The bill was introduced by freshman Tennessee Rep. Andy Ogles and says, “The Biden Administration’s weaponization of the DOJ for personal political gain through the appointment of Jack Smith is nothing short of appalling. In November 2022, he was tasked with taking down Biden’s biggest threat, President Donald J. Trump. From falsified indictments to non-existent supporting ‘evidence,’ everything about the proceedings by Smith have screamed desperate. America cannot and will not stand for that, and it’s well past time that Congress uses its power of the purse to tell Jack Smith: you’re fired.”
All true, but nothing will come of it.
Did you see on Friday that not only has Judge Tanya Chutkan, the presiding judge in Trump’s J6 case, ruled against Trump on his “immunity” and “First Amendment” arguments, but also that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for DC ruled unanimously that CIVIL CASES against Trump over damages relating to January 6 may proceed? I am not kidding. They said he was acting not in his official capacity as President but “in his personal capacity as a presidential candidate.”
As the Supreme Court has ruled (Nixon v. Fitzgerald), a President has absolute immunity from civil liability over actions taken in an official capacity, and, of course, that was the argument Trump’s legal team made before these judges. As reported in NEWSMAX, “They assert that the actions detailed in the indictment --- including pressing state officials on the administration of elections --- cut to the core of Trump’s responsibilities as commander-in-chief.” As reasonable as that argument seems, the judges turned it away. They offered only that when these cases do go forward, Trump can still “try to prove” that he was acting officially.
Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan wrote: “The district court largely rejected his claim of immunity, and President Trump now appeals. (Editorial aside: You better believe he appeals!) The sole issue before us is whether President Trump has demonstrated an entitlement to official-act immunity for his actions leading up to and on January 6 as alleged in the complaints. We answer no, at least at this state of the proceedings.”
A Trump spokesperson described the ruling as “limited, narrow and procedural” and said Trump was “acting on behalf of the American people” on January 6.
Recall that three decades ago, the Supreme Court ruled that Paula Jones’ civil lawsuit against President Bill Clinton could proceed, even though he was still in office. (Clinton was later impeached on a process crime, lying under oath, in connection with that suit.) Their decision was quite controversial at the time, as the prospect was raised of a President being deluged with litigation while in office.
Now, the nightmare is coming true, only it’s with a former President running for re-election, with the prospect of BEING President when the lawsuits finally reach courtrooms. If Trump is held ultimately responsible for the events of January 6 and his actions are treated the same as those of a private citizen, can you even IMAGINE the endless, crushing deluge of lawfare that will result?
At least with Paula Jones, she was suing President Clinton for something she’d alleged he personally did to HER. With J6, litigants are trying to hold Trump responsible for everything they claim he indirectly “caused” --- violence, vandalism and psychological trauma that was actually caused by some of his “supporters.” (I use quotation marks because we don’t know for sure that they were all supporters.) There will be no limit to the lawfare. This is the Democrats’ dream come true.
Already, a suit has been filed by Capitol Police officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, who seek damages for physical and emotional injuries they suffered as a result of the Capitol attack. That’s right, they’re suing TRUMP for this. Trump, and only Trump. A lawyer for one of the officers said, “Today’s ruling makes clear that those who endanger our democracy and the lives of those sworn to defend it will be held to account.” On the contrary, “our democracy” is much poorer for this.
House Democrats have also filed a couple of suits against Trump (!!) One of them comes from ten House Democrats, including Reps. Jerry Nadler and Maxine Waters. The other comes courtesy of Rep. Eric Swalwell.
These judges failed to see that President Trump’s actions leading up to and on January 6 WERE in an official capacity. For example, he was acting in an official capacity when he offered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thousands of National Guard troops to help keep the peace that day. And she was acting in an official capacity when she refused them.
When will we see the lawsuits against her?