Matt Gaetz calls for investigation of 'election interference' in Jack Smith's case

 March 13, 2024

Republican congressman Matt Gaetz (Fl.) has submitted a complaint with the Justice Department about Jack Smith's prosecution of Donald Trump, citing evidence of "election interference." 

During an episode of Hannity, Gaetz compared Smith's efforts to the actions of the FBI prior to the 2016 election, when high-ranking agents texted each other about an "insurance policy" to stop Trump.

Those texts were uncovered by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Gaetz said he submitted a complaint to the OIG about Smith because he is "engaging in explicit election interference."

"He is the insurance policy, except now they're trying to ensure that the trial occurs before the election," he told SeanHannity.

Jack Smith's "election interference"

The complaint from Gaetz to Inspector General Michael Horowitz cites a Justice Department rule barring prosecutors from making decisions "for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party."

In his efforts to move his prosecution along, Smith has repeatedly cited a need for urgency without directly mentioning the election.

Trump and his allies say it's obvious that Smith is eager to convict Trump before November, and that this constitutes election interference.

The fear among Democrats is that Trump could pardon himself if he were to win another term. Gaetz said Smith has been saying the "quiet part out loud" for some time now.

Gaetz said Smith had "given up the game" and that his court filings make clear he wants to "get this done before the election."

"Just like the inspector general exposed the Russia hoax for election interference, now he ought to sink his teeth into Jack Smith," Gaetz said.

"This isn't about the facts and the law, this is about derailing a very productive and very successful presidential campaign," he added.

Trial plans in jeopardy

Both of Smith's federal prosecutions of Trump are facing delays.

There is still no trial date set in Trump's classified documents case, and the "election interference" case in D.C. has been paused pending Trump's appeal before the Supreme Court on the question of presidential immunity.

The court's resolution of that issue is likely to push the trial into the summer or even beyond the election.

There is an informal Justice Department rule against making prosecutorial decisions 60 days before an election.

Although it's doubtful Smith would be bound by such strictures, a trial so close to the election could generate sympathy for Trump and vindicate his claims of political targeting.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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