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By Mae Slater on
 May 1, 2024

Elise Stefanik Submits Ethical Complaint Against Jack Smith

Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) has lodged an ethics complaint against special counsel Jack Smith, alleging his actions are intended to disrupt the upcoming presidential election by advancing the prosecution of Donald Trump.

The Hill reported that Stefanik took formal action by filing a complaint with the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility.

She accused special counsel Jack Smith of unlawfully influencing the 2024 presidential race through his handling of the Trump election subversion case.

Stefanik asserts that Smith is expediting the legal proceedings against former President Donald Trump, contravening Department of Justice guidelines designed to prevent such occurrences during election periods. She argues that these actions are politically driven and intended to harm Trump's chances in the upcoming election.

The Basis of Stefanik's Allegations

According to Stefanik, Smith's rapid progression of the case is a breach of the DOJ's manual, which advises against legal actions that could impact electoral outcomes. She highlighted Smith's specific request to the Supreme Court to override the appeals court and expedite a decision on Trump's claim of immunity as a former president.

This move, she claims, is indicative of an attempt to sidestep regular legal processes, potentially aiming for a trial before the November election. This complaint adds to a series of ethical challenges Stefanik has raised against other judicial figures involved in Trump-related cases.

The representative, who is also a potential vice-presidential candidate for Trump, suggests that these proceedings are tarnishing the reputation of the DOJ and the federal government as a whole.

DOJ's "60-Day Rule" and Ongoing Legal Debates

The Justice Department adheres to an informal "60-day rule," which discourages initiating or advancing legal actions close to elections that could influence their outcomes. However, DOJ prosecutor Jay Bratt clarified that this guideline does not apply to setting trial dates in ongoing cases.

Bratt defended the department's actions by stating, "That provision does not apply to cases that have already been charged, that are being litigated. It doesn’t apply to setting a trial date. We are fully in compliance."

Stefanik, however, counters this by questioning the urgency of resolving the case before the election, challenging the public interest served by such a prompt resolution.

Impact and Implications of Stefanik's Complaint

Stefanik's complaint is not just a procedural objection but also an effort to highlight what she perceives as a misuse of legal authority for political ends. She stated, "It’s obvious to any reasonable observer that Jack Smith is trying to interfere with the 2024 election and stop the American people from electing Donald Trump."

Her accusations are bold, claiming that Smith's every action in the legal proceedings is designed to ensure that Trump faces trial prior to the election. This, she argues, is a clear violation of the principles of fair legal process.

In response to inquiries about her potential future in a Trump administration, Stefanik expressed her honor at the possibility, emphasizing her commitment to Trump's leadership and agenda.


As the legal and political drama unfolds, Stefanik's complaint adds another layer of complexity to the already charged atmosphere surrounding the 2024 presidential election. Her challenge to Smith's actions underscores ongoing debates about the intersection of law and politics, particularly in cases involving high-profile figures like Donald Trump. With the election approaching, the implications of these legal maneuvers will undoubtedly continue to provoke discussion and controversy.

Written By:
Mae Slater

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