According to an extensive report from the Daily Beast's Jose Pagliery, Attorney General Merrick Garland could not have picked a more experienced legal pro in Jack Smith to investigate Donald Trump based upon his success rate going after corrupt politicians.
Now that the House select committee looking into the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection is making its criminal referrals, the recently appointed special counsel has a wealth of additional information from which to draw upon.
As the Beast report notes, Smith is being handed a case that has appeared to have stalled out due to missing evidence, reluctant witnesses and a target who maintained a certain level of popularity in Trump.
His current case has echoes of his successful 2018 pursuit of Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi for war crimes, with Pagliery noting, "Kosovo’s now ex-president remains trapped inside a jail in the Dutch city of The Hague."
According to the report that case had stalled out before Smith took the lead.
"It had been a full 19 years since KLA rebels had allegedly held these secret medical operations on captives, and still not a single indictment had been filed by this new office. Evidence in Kosovo had been destroyed. And the few witnesses brave enough to come forward were even more frightened, because international prosecutors had failed to deliver on promises they made. By now, KLA veterans had a stranglehold on domestic politics. And a wartime militia leader, Thaçi, had risen to become Kosovo’s prime minister—formally declaring independence from Serbia in 2008—and eventually president," Pagliery explained.
According to Clint Williamson, who had previously prosecuted war crimes, "When Jack came in, he really just made a full-court press to get these witnesses that had contributed to the process earlier to come onboard again. He was pushing his prosecutors to get these witnesses back into the fold."
"Once they got insiders talking again, Smith then quickly developed a sense of how Thaçi and others operated. Legal scholars have noted how prosecuting wartime atrocity crimes—conducted by soldiers at the direction of leaders who bear ultimate responsibility but remain protected by their clan—is something like taking down a mob. Investigators need to accumulate the basic evidence of a crime—like what happened and where—while mapping out a chain of command," the report continued before adding, "Sources for this story unanimously noted that Smith’s experience combating the Kosovo hero narrative prepares him for the onslaught brought by Trump, who has used social posts and interviews with propagandists to cast doubt on the FBI’s two ongoing investigations. And several drew parallels between the challenges he faced with Albanian mob tactics and the ones he does now, as he leads the effort against an American president who has shielded himself with MAGA loyalists."
Added Williamson, "They couldn’t have picked a better person for it… Jack is a very hands-on prosecutor. He drives his staff to work very hard. He’s diligent and meticulous about detail."
You can read more here.