". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Jack Smith: Prosecutor or Biden’s Press Manager?

August 2, 2023

You probably have no idea who federal prosecutor Jack Smith is, but you should. However, if you even casually follow American politics, you know that both former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden are embroiled in legal scandals of various kinds.

Trump has now been indicted three times for (1) paying hush money to a porn star he allegedly slept with, (2) keeping documents at his Florida home he should not have kept, and (3) for January 6-related events like conspiracy to stop official government proceedings. It seems yet another indictment could be just around the corner.

President Biden is facing his own legal problems, as evidence emerges that he not only knew about his son Hunter Biden’s business deals — despite previous denials — but personally benefitted from them when he was vice president. At best, there were ethics violations. At worst, the current president has sold the influence of the U.S. government to America’s enemies. No charges have been filed, but conversations about impeachment grow louder by the week.

Of course, partisans on both sides insist their guy is innocent and the other guy is a crook.

Adding to this intrigue is the fact that both men are favorites to be their parties’ nominees for president in 2024, which means their past actions stand to have a tremendous impact on the future. As a result, there are massive political machines who have an interest in controlling the narrative around both candidates.

Which makes the timing of certain events over the past two months curious. Consider the following.

On June 7, the FBI released an FD-1023 document to Congress which revealed that in June 2020, an informant told the FBI that the Bidens took a $10 million bribe from a Burisma executive in exchange for favors from the U.S. government. This doesn’t prove Biden took bribes, it just means an informant told the FBI he did, which would naturally lead people to want more information. For a few hours, it was big news. Fortunately for President Biden, the very next day, June 8, prosecutor Jack Smith indicted Trump in the Mar-a-Lago document case claiming Trump kept documents he should not have had. Naturally, everyone wanted to talk about how bad Trump was now. If you’re Biden, that was very fortunate timing.

But that doesn’t mean President Biden was in the clear. Hunter Biden has been working through his own legal problems, many of which had nothing to do with his father. After years of investigations and negotiations, Biden’s son was offered a plea agreement in which he would do no jail time for multiple weapons charges and millions in unpaid taxes. Lots of people, on both sides of the political aisle, believed he was getting special treatment.

In addition to avoiding jail time, the plea agreement contained unusually broad immunity language that was not included in the plea agreement itself, as is protocol, but in a related diversion agreement. Was that an attempt to hide the unusually broad immunity language from the judge? If so, it didn’t work.

The plea agreement was so unusual that, on July 26, the judge took the unusual step of rejecting it. This created renewed questions about Hunter’s behavior and raised new questions about a compromised Department of Justice. Was the prosecutor actually trying to help the defendant and did this indicate the Department of Justice had been compromised? Was that broad immunity offered by DOJ intended to stop investigations into Hunter’s foreign business dealings in an attempt to protect Joe Biden?

Fortunately, the public didn’t have much time to think about those things because the very next day, July 27, Jack Smith, appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland as a special prosecutor, decided to add some new charges to the indictment against Trump. Voila, news outlets were eager to talk about how bad the former president is again.

But Biden wasn’t out of the woods yet. In perhaps the most politically damaging development to date, Hunter Biden’s former business partner, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden was on approximately 20 calls with Hunter and business partners during a closed-door meeting on July 31. While the meeting was closed, a transcript was released. This was significant for a couple of reasons. First, Joe Biden said repeatedly he never spoke to his son about his foreign business dealings, yet Archer’s testimony said otherwise. In addition, evidence that Biden was involved in the business dealings corroborates other evidence that the then-vice president was involved in conversations with Burisma and personally profited from them. This isn’t conclusive evidence of bribery, but its smoke that suggests there could be fire.

You know what happened next. The next day, August 1, Jack Smith indicted Trump again, this time on conspiracy charges related to January 6. And once again, everyone is talking about what a bad guy Trump is.

At this point, we’re starting to see a pattern develop. Every time news that is politically harmful to Biden breaks, Jack Smith files or amends charges against Trump. Coincidence? Maybe. You can’t just whip up a 40-page indictment overnight because you want to create a distraction, but timing is rarely random. If you’re going to do something you know will make headlines, a lot of thought is given to when you want that to happen. And in Washington, D.C., distraction is a critical part of the political art of war.

But there’s more.

It turns out this is not the first time Jack Smith has prosecuted a high-profile Republican. In 2014, Smith filed bribery charges against then-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell who was then seen as a leading Republican contender for President. McDonnell was even convicted before the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction. While McDonnell was legally vindicated, the political damage was done.

So, who is Jack Smith? Is he a political hit man, or is it just coincidence that the blind pursuit of justice compels him to keep pressing charges against Republican presidential candidates? Your answer to that question might be influenced by the knowledge that Jack Smith’s wife, Katy Chevigny, is a documentary filmmaker who produced an effusively complimentary film about Michelle Obama called “Becoming” and was also a contributor to Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Sometimes things that look like a conspiracy aren’t. Coincidences can happen. But given what we do know, President Biden is either the luckiest son-of-a-gun in Washington, D.C., or Jack Smith is running interference for Joe from the Department of Justice.

Joseph Backholm is Senior Fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council.