‘Swamp Creature’: Trump Special Counsel Jack Smith Was a Key Figure in the IRS Targeting Scandal

Jack Smith, the newly-appointed special counsel overseeing the investigation into former President Donald Trump, is a partisan Democrat who has targeted conservatives in the past, according to House Republicans. “Jack Smith has been a swamp creature forever,” House Judiciary GOP recently tweeted.

According to a December 2014 report put out by Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, Smith was a key figure in the Obama era Internal Revenue Service (IRS) political targeting scandal.

Beginning in 2010, the IRS and the FBI improperly targeted conservative nonprofit groups for special scrutiny ahead of the 2012 general election. The IRS essentially stopped processing applications for 501(c)(4) tax-exemption status received from organizations with “Tea Party,” “patriots,” or “9/12” in their names. During the same time period, the agency approved applications from several dozen liberal-leaning organizations whose names included terms such as “progressive,” “progress,” “liberal,” or “equality.

The list of conservatives groups targeted by the IRS for audits, excessive tax-exempt scrutiny, or tax privacy breaches included dozens of tea party groups and their donors, the conservative Hollywood group, Friends of AbeFranklin GrahamChristine O’Donnell, a pro-marriage group,  Dr. Ben CarsonDr. Milton Wolf, (then-president Obama’s Republican cousin who was running for Senate in Kansas), and ObamaCare critics Bill Elliot and C. Steven Tucker.

Documents obtained by Judicial Watch in July of 2015 revealed how extensively the Department of Justice colluded with the IRS to cook up criminal prosecutions of the non-profit conservative groups. The records included an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI. The documents also revealed that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify in front of the Republican controlled Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress.

According to the records, the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to then-IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.”

The scandal erupted in May of 2013, and Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee spent the next several years trying to get to the bottom of it even as the Obama regime stonewalled and refused to cooperate.

Smith was Chief of the DOJ Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section when he allegedly called the October 2010 meeting with Lerner, then the director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Unit. The purpose of the meeting was “to discuss how the IRS could assist in the criminal enforcement of campaign-finance laws against politically active nonprofits,” Richard Pilger, then the director of the section’s Election Crimes Branch, told Oversight Committee investigators in a May 2014 transcribed interview.

The reason the Justice Dept. got involved was because Obama had repeatedly complained about the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC, House Republicans alleged.

After Smith read a New York Times piece on conservative non-profits that claimed the groups were violating campaign finance laws, he emailed his colleagues with his thoughts on the matter.

“This seems egregious to me – could we ever charge a [18 U.S.C. §] 371 conspiracy to violate laws of the USA for misuse of such non-profits to get around existing campaign finance laws + limits?” Smith wrote in the email, according to Oversight Committee’s December 2014 report on the IRS scandal. Smith also urged the IRS to be “more vigilant to the opportunities from more crime in the … 501(c)(4) area.”

Chairman Issa and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), then the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, fired off a letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder, demanding that Smith be made available for a transcribed interview.

“The Committee’s transcribed interview of Richard Pilger presents further troubling information about the Department’s contemplated prosecution of nonprofit groups for false statements,” Issa and Jordan wrote in the letter.

“It is apparent that the Department’s leadership, including Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith, was closely involved in engaging with the IRS in wake of Citizens United and political pressure from prominent Democrats to address perceived problems with the decision,” the GOP congressmen said.

“According to Mr. Pilger,” the letter continues, “the Justice Department convened a meeting with former IRS official Lois Lerner in October 2010 to discuss how the IRS could assist in the criminal enforcement of campaign-finance laws against politically active nonprofits. This meeting was arranged at the direction of Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith.”

The congressmen noted that the meeting occurred days before Lerner spoke at the Sanford School of Public Policy about the immense political pressure on the IRS to “fix the problem” created by Citizens United before the 2010 midterm election.

Lerner was eventually held in contempt of Congress after she pled the 5th Amendment when questioned about her actions by the Oversight Committee.

Smith and his team meanwhile had “serious conflicts of interest stemming from their interaction with the IRS,” the report alleged.

Lerner finally resigned from the IRS in disgrace in 2015, while Smith went on to become the chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague.

His wife, Katy Chevigny, reportedly donated to Joe Biden’s campaign in 2020, and helped produce the 2020 Michelle Obama documentary Becoming.

In another politically charged case, Smith was a leader in the prosecution of former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia on federal corruption charges in 2014, the Daily Caller reported. McDonnell was prosecuted for accepting gifts which he later repaid.

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed his conviction in 2016, and all charges were later dismissed, though commentators have argued that the conviction stopped him from running for president in 2016.

In his role as special counsel, Smith will oversee two investigations into Trump. One is regarding whether he or his affiliates “unlawfully interfered in the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election,” per the order of appointment.

The other concerns Trump’s possession of classified information at his private Mar-a-Lago estate following the expiration of his term in violation of federal law, leading to a raid of Mar-a-Lago by the FBI on Aug. 8.

On Sunday, Trump told Fox News Digital he would not take part in the investigation.

“I have been going through this for six years — for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it anymore,” Trump said. “And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this.”

“I have been proven innocent for six years on everything — from fake impeachments to Mueller, who found no collusion, and now I have to do it more? It is not acceptable. It is so unfair. It is so political,” the 45th president added. “I am not going to partake in it,” said Trump. “I’m not going to partake in this.”

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)