The special counsel Jack Smith’s actions have been called into question by conservative journalists, as he appears to have acted too aggressively in bringing charges against former President Donald Trump.
According to reports from The Epoch Times, Smith and his team successfully persuaded a federal judge in Washington to authorize a search warrant for President Trump’s X account, formerly referred to as Twitter, and prevent Trump from being informed about the warrant.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell approved both the warrant application and the petition for a nondisclosure order which prevented X from disclosing the warrant to any individual including President Trump; an appeals court later upheld Judge Howell’s decisions.
These developments raise serious questions regarding Smith’s legal strategies concerning President Trump.
The higher court quoted Howell as saying that she believed there were “reasonable grounds” to suggest Trump might tamper with evidence, change his behavior, or alert associates if he learned of the warrant. ‘
She also concluded that he was a flight risk.
While these orders remain under seal, this ruling was criticized by an esteemed legal expert.
Subsequently, Smith and his team admitted that one aspect of their entry that led to the order was made in error.
“The district court also found reason to believe that the former President would ‘flee from prosecution,’” the appeals court said. “The government later acknowledged, however, that it had ‘errantly included flight from prosecution as a predicate’ in its application” for the non-disclosure order.
The Epoch Times added:
Howell, the appeals court said, did not ultimately rely on the purported flight risk in its “ultimate analysis.”
X wanted to disclose parts of the warrant to President Trump but “such action would not have safeguarded the security and integrity of the investigation, as the whole point of the nondisclosure order was to avoid tipping off the former President about the warrant’s existence,” U.S. Circuit Judge Florence Pan, an appointee of President Joe Biden, wrote in the unsealed ruling.
Smith’s team has experienced another misstep in the span of two weeks. Last week, they were forced to notify a federal court that not all evidence had been presented to Trump’s legal counsel, despite claiming otherwise.
According to Newsweek, a July 31st filing indicated that Smith and his team had failed to upload video footage obtained from the FBI’s raid at Mar-a-Lago last year onto an online platform for review by Trump’s defense.
This action was taken by the Justice Department as a means of recovering classified documents allegedly declassified by Trump prior to leaving office.
“On July 27, as part of the preparation for the superseding indictment coming later that day and the discovery production for Defendant De Oliveira, the Government learned that this footage had not been processed and uploaded to the platform established for the defense to view the subpoenaed footage,” read the filing.
“The Government’s representation at the July 18 hearing that all surveillance footage the Government had obtained pre-indictment had been produced was therefore incorrect,” the filing continued.
Meanwhile, considering Trump a flight risk was blasted in a short column posted on Thursday by Georgetown University law professor Jonathan Turley.
“…[T]he two most surprising, and concerning, elements were that the subpoena was secret and Howell justified it, in part, on Trump being a flight risk. Neither seems warranted in this case even assuming that the subpoena was in other respects warranted.”
“Judge Howell actually agreed that the former President was a flight risk. Process that for a second,” Turley wrote. “Trump has 24/7 security. So Howell agreed that he might shake his sizable security detail, evade them, and go on the lam. He is one of the most recognized figures in the world. He would have to go to Mars to live incognito.”