On Tuesday, Ari Melber of MSNBC did a deep dive into the work history of special prosecutor Jack Smith, who is in charge of two different criminal investigations involving former President Donald Trump.
Melber specifically mentions the former president’s appearance as being, for lack of a better phrase, “boring,” which he believes may be used to his advantage in a case against him.
“Smith is careful, sober, I would say dry to the point of, frankly at times, being boring in his presentation,” Melber said. “The man clashing with gangsters and warlords cuts a somber figure when you look at his record and how he operates, even when he makes his big arguments in court. There are peers who say he used that underrated style to great effect with juries and judges, meaning it works.”
Then Melber explained how Smith uses an extremely aggressive prosecutorial manner in combination with his “dry and monotonous” presentation style to ensure that he will not capitulate under duress.
“Smith’s not only aggressive in court,” he said. “Lawyers are marveling at the way he will push and stretch to make his cases, but he’s so aggressive legally that he has sometimes stretched farther than other prosecutors, bringing what is called novel or high-risk cases.”
Melber cautioned that this might be a double-edged sword, as Smith had lost some of these cases, most notably when he sought to prosecute former senator John Edwards (D-NC).
Smith will have his hands full because he is working on two Trump-related cases at once: the ongoing investigation into the 26 boxes of classified documents and other presidential records discovered on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property, as well as the inquiry into whether anyone or anything interfered illegally with the transfer of power after the 2020 election.
Since Smith began working two months ago, things appear to be picking up. Recently, he requested that any accusations regarding Trump’s handling of national security documents after leaving the White House be put through stress testing by the prosecution. In a week, he also issued roughly 40 subpoenas for testimony in connection with his inquiry into the 2020 election certification. These subpoenas call for the testimony of election officials from all over the nation as well as Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, whom Trump begged to only uncover 11,780 votes. Pat Cipollone, a former White House attorney for Trump, and Patrick Philbin, his top deputy, have both testified before Smith’s grand jury.
Smith filed a motion for contempt against the former president’s office in the investigation of the classified material after they failed to submit a custodian of records to certify that all papers marked classified had been turned over to the government. The names of the hired private investigators who searched Trump’s properties last year for any lingering sensitive materials were recently demanded from Trump’s attorneys by a federal judge.
Smith has stressed speed from the beginning, declaring after being named special counsel that the investigations “would not pause or flag under my watch” and that they “shall go swiftly.” In addition, Smith has a staff that is almost twice as large as Robert Mueller’s team, which looked into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Smith also has a substantial body of evidence, such as the special report compiled by the House Committee on January 6 that has already suggested four criminal charges be brought against Trump. Smith’s subject is not a current president, in contrast to Mueller (at least, for now,)