- Smith is the chief prosecutor for a special court adjudicating war crimes in Kosovo.
- AG Garland said Smith “has built a reputation as an impartial and determined prosecutor.”
WASHINGTON – Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday named Jack Smith to oversee the fraught investigations into former President Donald Trump, a career prosecutor Garland said would carry out the job in an “evenhanded and urgent manner.”
Smith, who according to the Department of Justice, began his prosecutorial career in 1994 as an assistant district attorney in New York, is currently the chief prosecutor for a special court in The Hague charged with adjudicating war crimes in Kosovo. Garland said Smith will be returning to the United States to take on the new role “immediately.”
“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,” Garland said. “Mr. Smith is the right choice to complete these matters in an even-handed and urgent manner.”
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It will be no easy task: Trump’s announcement this week that he will run for president in 2024 has raised questions about how prosecutors will handle a difficult investigation that Trump has already dismissed as politically motivated.
“I intend to conduct the assigned investigations, and any prosecutions that may result from them, independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice,” Smith said in a statement. “The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch. I will exercise independent judgement and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate.”
In New York, Smith prosecuted matters ranging from gang murders of police officers to civil rights violations, according to the Department of Justice. From 2008 to 2010, he served with the International Criminal Court, where he supervised all war crimes investigations conducted by the office of the prosecutor.
In 2010, Smith returned to the Justice Department to serve as chief of the Public Integrity Section, where he led a team of more than 30 prosecutors who handled public corruption and election crimes cases across the United States, the Justice Department said.
In 2015, he served as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, later becoming the Acting United States Attorney.