Recent revelations that Jack Smith’s wife was a producer for a Michelle Obama documentary have raised concerns about Trump’s impartiality.
According to OpenSecrets, Katy Chevigny was listed on IMDB as a producer of Becoming and donated $1,000 for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign. A slew conservatives were angered by Smith’s appointment to supervise criminal investigations involving former President Donald Trump. They used the revelations about his spouse to undermine his credibility.
“You would think, if the stated intention to avoid any type concern about bias was sincere, then they would at minimum check to see if when you shaken the family tree, any virulent Trump Haters, Never Trumpers and Biden supporters fall out,” firedbrand Rep. Matt Gaetz (R.FL) said in a Tuesday interview with Steve Bannon.
Gaetz also insists that Congress “uses the power of the purse” to defund the explicitly political exercise against Trump.
Sometimes, prominent public figures are subject to backlash because of their spouses’ political views. Detractors raised concerns about Virginia Ginni Thomas, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas,’s plans to challenge the 2020 election.
Nancy Pelosi, Democratic-CA House Speaker, said Clarence Thomas should be excused from Jan. 6 cases due to his wife’s activities. When conservatives began to resent Chevigny’s past, Smith’s defenders quickly pointed out Ginni Thomas.
Matt Gaetz believes that someone can’t be objective if their spouse has a history in politics. Daylin Leach, former Pennsylvania State Senator, tweeted that someone should introduce him [Ginni] Thomas.”
Becoming is a documentary that Chevigny produced based on Obama’s 2018 memoir. It was released in 2020. Dark Money, which examined the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court Case, was also produced by Chevigny.
You can’t make this stuff up. Katy Chevigny (wife of Jack Smith), the special counsel assigned by DOJ in order to pursue President Trump, contributed to Joe Biden’s campaign and made Michelle Obama’s documentary. America cannot stand with corrupt, two-tiered justice systems,” Rep. Andrew Clyde (R.GA) tweeted.
“Officially, the wife of Jack Smith (the special counsel appointed by Merrick Galrland to investigate President Trump) was one of the producers for the Michelle Obama documentary. Don’t worry, guys. The DOJ hasn’t been used against conservatives. All is well,” Charlie Kirk, founder of conservative Turning Point USA, tweeted. He was responding to Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) emoji eyes.
Smith’s integrity has been praised by a host of former colleagues and legal experts. For example, Andrew Weissmann — “Mueller’s pit bull” — hailed Smith as a “no-nonsense and let’s-cut-to-the-chase kind of guy.”
Jack Smith is a consummate professional and career DOJ prosecutor. He has not a political bone in him. He is a fast and skilled prosecutor who doesn’t let the grass grow beneath his feet. Smith is “a fantastic choice if it comes to appointing Special Counsel,” Weissmann stated.
As Smith faces scrutiny for his role in the IRS targeting controversy, Republicans are grumbling about Chevigny.
Smith was the chief of the Justice Department Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. He emailed Lois Lerner, an IRS official, about how the agency could assist “in criminal enforcement of campaign finance laws against politically active non-profits.” This testimony was obtained by the House Judiciary Committee.
Republicans claimed that the IRS targeted conservative nonprofit groups during this scandal. Smith met with Lerner to discuss intensifying scrutiny of nonprofit violations. This is according to a House Judiciary Committee Report on the matter.
The House Judiciary GOP tweeted, “Jack Smith was a Swamp Creature for ever,” referring to that testimony.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith as the Justice Department’s chief criminal investigator of Trump in connection to the Jan. 6, Capitol riot and Mar-a-Lago investigation. Garland said that Smith was appointed because of “recent developments”, including Trump’s 2024 campaign debut.
Smith, in his capacity of special counsel will weigh whether Trump will face criminal charges over the two Justice Department investigations. Trump, unlike the Mueller investigation into Russian collusion is not a sitting president at the time Smith’s work is completed. Therefore, he is not entitled to the same protections from federal indictments that a president has.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) was one of those Republicans who pondered defunding special counsel just after it was announced. This was even before the revelations about Lerner’s wife and the correspondence between them surfaced.
According to the Harvard Law Bulletin’s winter 2012 “Class Notes”, Smith was married to Chevigny.
The Washington Examiner reached Smith and Chevigny to get their comments. The Justice Department declined comment.