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Stefanik Lodges Ethics Complaint Against Jack Smith

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (Credits: The Hill)

Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY), a close ally of former President Trump, has filed an ethics complaint against special counsel Jack Smith, accusing him of attempting to “unlawfully interfere with the 2024 presidential election.”

Stefanik, the House GOP conference chair, submitted the complaint to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility, alleging that Smith is trying to “rush” Trump’s federal election subversion case to influence the upcoming election.

Special Counsel Jack Smith (Credits: Brittanica)

Stefanik claims that Smith’s actions, including requesting the Supreme Court to weigh in on Trump’s immunity claims before an appeals court had a chance to review them, demonstrate political animus.

She argues that Smith’s conduct violates the Justice Department’s manual, which states that attorneys should never select the timing of any action for the purpose of affecting an election.

The complaint is unlikely to prompt action from the Justice Department, as Smith’s case began with an August 2023 indictment, 15 months before the presidential election.

The Justice Department encourages prosecutors to follow the “60-day rule,” avoiding actions that might influence an election in the 60 days prior to it. However, a prosecutor on Smith’s team has stated that this rule does not apply to ongoing cases like Trump’s.

Stefanik’s complaint echoes arguments made by Trump’s attorneys, including being overwhelmed by the extent of evidence to review and criticizing Smith’s filings to the Supreme Court. She also questions the urgency of resolving the case, aside from the upcoming election.

Jack Smith (Credits: CNBC)

This ethics complaint is the latest example of Stefanik publicly demonstrating her loyalty to Trump, who she has kept the door open to serving as his running mate. In November and December, Stefanik filed ethics complaints against judges overseeing cases connected to Trump, accusing them of bias and judicial intemperance.

Smith’s office declined to comment on Stefanik’s letter, and the Justice Department is unlikely to take action. The complaint, however, highlights the ongoing political tensions surrounding Trump’s legal cases and the 2024 presidential election.

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