Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is investigating former President Donald Trump for alleged mishandling of classified documents, previously put another political leader behind bars, Breitbart reported. Trump's former acting Director of National Security, Richard Grenell, believes that case was politically motivated and raises important questions.
Smith has made a name for himself by prosecuting prominent politicians. During his tenure as head of the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department between 2010 and 2015, he prosecuted high-profile political players.
The first was then-vice presidential Democratic nominee John Edwards whose cased ended with the jury split on several counts and one acquittal. Prosecutors dropped the case and never retried Edwards.
In a case against then-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonald, Smith's luck was much worse. A unanimous Supreme Court vote later overturned the Justice Department's conviction of McDonald.
However, Smith was successful as a special prosecutor for the Kosovo Specialist Chambers. That role is where he had a win after effectively putting former Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi in prison for war crimes.
The prosecution came in 2020 but related to the genocide in Kosovo in the 1990s. The ten-count indictment included what Al Jazeera called "a range of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture."
Grenell said that prosecuting based on charges against Thaçi that were more than two decades old was not about justice but rather about Smith keeping his job. At the time, Trump was brokering a deal between Thaçi and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić that would have dissolved the tribunal and thus would leave Smith unemployed.
The charges eventually leveled against Thaçi were vague, but Smith moved forward to have him arrested anyway. "When President Thaçi was on his way to Washington, DC, to come and negotiate the final agreement with me, he went to the airport, and the Europeans issued an indictment of him from 20 years ago," Grenell revealed last Summer at a CPAC speech while the former leader of Kosovo was awaiting trial.
"The man sits in a Hague prison today, two years later. His crime is that he was negotiating with Donald Trump," Grenell continued. "This is so outrageous, and if the Europeans cannot understand their vindictive legal system, which is going after President Thaçi sitting in prison for trying to negotiate — they came up with these charges that are from 20 years ago that they've been investigating that they've never been able to prove, crazy charges," he added.
"The Europeans are doing this, we have European media here today and if they don't get off their duff and start looking into some of these issues, on why President Thaçi is in prison, honestly, they will never be able to take the mantle of pretending like they care about human rights," Grenell said. Because of this action, negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo never happened.
Although Grenell admits there was possible merit in the case, the timing and dredging up of the past weren't at all helpful except as a political stunt. "You can fight the wars of the past and your kids are not going to have jobs and they're going to go to Hungary and Poland and all of these other places," Grenell said he told the aggrieved people.
"But if you'd like to look to the future and solve some of these issues and do economic development — we got to give President Trump credit here because what President Trump said is, you know, you got the Europeans and all of these people who have been concentrating on political issues for 20 years and let's go in and do economic development," Grenell said. He believes Smith is doing the same thing now.
"He has always overplayed his hand in the cases he's handled because he's an emotional partisan activist," Grenell charged. On Monday, the Justice Department revealed its 37-count indictment against Trump related to the mishandling of classified documents.
The prosecution of a former president and current candidate is an unprecedented move. However, it seems Smith has been attempting to reel in a big fish like Trump to satisfy his political leanings -- and that's shameful.