Massie: Is Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Office Constitutional?

Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) held Attorney General Merrick Garland’s feet to the fire Tuesday over whether Jack Smith’s appointment as a special counsel was constitutional.

Smith was appointed to oversee federal investigations into Donald Trump over classified documents and Jan 6.

During sometimes heated questioning before the House Judiciary Committee, Massie grilled the AG about how Jack Smith was nominated for the position of special counsel.

AG Garland was forced to admit that Smith was neither appointed by president Biden or confirmed by the Senate nor was a special counsel statute passed to authorize Smith’s appointment.

Massie argued that Smith’s appointment, as a private citizen, violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

During his questioning, Massie reference amicus briefs filed by former Reagan administration Attorney General Ed Meese which argue that the “illegality” of Smith’s appointment is “sufficient to sink Smith’s position and the Court should deny review.”

Garland argued that other appointments made by him and others, including Trump administration AG Bob Barr, cite a regulation that they believe points to a statute.

Massie was not convinced and maintained that Congress never authorized a special counsel office to exist. He bluntly pointed out, unlike U.S. Attorneys, Jack Smith was not appointed by the president and was not confirmed by the Senate.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also had terse exchanges with Garland, as the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee pressed the Attorney General over why he picked Smith as special counsel.

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Photo: US Attorney General Merrick Garland names an independent special counsel to probe President Joe Biden's alleged mishandling of classified documents at the US Justice Department in Washington, DC on January 12, 2023. - Garland said Robert Hur, a private attorney and former government prosecutor, would examine whether the discovery of classified government documents in Biden's home and in a research institute linked to the president violated any laws. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

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