Jack Smith, the special counsel just appointed to investigate former President Donald Trump’s connection to January 6 and the FBI’s allegations that he took classified documents to Mar-A-Lago, was instrumental in the IRS effort to target conservatives under former President Barack Obama.
Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland to direct the DOJ investigation into Trump.
Smith led the Public Integrity Section during the time when the director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Unit Lois Lerner directed the IRS to target tea party groups and other conservative organizations, between 2010 and 2015.
Lerner later apologized for the IRS’s actions during that time, and a watchdog said the IRS had acted wrongly, but not criminally, in what it did.
Smith was investigated
Smith’s actions were part of the Republicans’ reason for trying to get a special counsel to investigate the IRS’s actions, but their requests were not granted.
“Jack Smith was looking for ways to prosecute the innocent Americans that Lois Lerner targeted during the IRS scandal,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), expected to lead the House Judiciary Committee next year, told the Washington Examiner.
Jordan and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who led the Oversight Committee at the time, requested Smith’s testimony in May 2014.
They said, “It is apparent that the Department’s leadership, including Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith, was closely involved in engaging with the IRS.”
Was Smith unfair?
Smith said in the testimony that he spoke to the FBI about the nonprofit groups but did not open any investigations into them.
According to Smith and others, meetings were held and the unit considered the fact that secret donors to the organizations could have constituted a 501/campaign finance investigation.
Some Tea Party groups that were created around that time experienced difficulty and long delays getting approved for nonprofit status.
It is dubious that Smith could be impartial and unbiased while investigating Trump, given his previous actions and viewpoints.