Big News for Trump: Jack Smith’s Appointment Under Scrutiny

( – U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon is set to hear arguments over whether or not Special Counsel Jack Smith’s appointment was unconstitutional, possibly jeopardizing his case against Donald Trump. Smith is the lead prosecutor against the former president and seeks to have him convicted of 41 felony counts related to mishandling classified documents.

Trump’s legal team argued in a February motion that the entire case against their client should be dismissed. Describing Smith as a “like-minded political ally” to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, they took issue with his appointment. According to Trump’s attorneys, Garland had no authority to hire Smith in the first place, as per the “Appointments Clause”. Smith gained his position without ever being nominated by the president or approved by the Senate.

Smith, however, rejects this argument. He claims that his appointment by Garland has a historical precedent set by the Supreme Court ruling in the 1974 United States v. Nixon case. During this particular case, the court found that the Attorney General could, in fact, hire a “Special Prosecutor”.

Trump’s legal team, however, says that Smith’s role does not fit the criteria specified in that historical precedent. They argue that the 1974 decision pertained to hiring “subordinate officers” and that Smith’s position has more authority than this. They quoted Garland as wanting to “promote independence” by hiring Smith, and that he was never intended to act as a “subordinate officer” as set out in Nixon.

Smith’s appointment is under heavy scrutiny outside of Judge Cannon’s courtroom as well. During a recent appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) quizzed Garland on his choice to have Smith oversee the classified documents case against Trump as well as the January 6th probe into the Republican presidential frontrunner. Garland told the committee that he was entitled to appoint the Special Counsel and that he had followed necessary regulations that had already been put in place.

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