Gaetz, MTG reignite calls to defund special counsel Jack Smith following third Trump indictment

Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene rekindled their calls to defund the office of Jack Smith after the special counsel’s move to hand former President Donald Trump a third indictment.

A federal grand jury on Tuesday delivered the indictment to Mr. Trump, which carries four criminal charges stemming from the ex-president’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, protest at the U.S. Capitol.

The four charges include conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.

Mr. Gaetz, Florida Republican, introduced his measure to defund Mr. Smith’s office in July. He took to social media to again rally behind his legislation, which would halt any authorized federal spending from going to Mr. Smith’s office.


Mr. Gaetz’s measure is cosponsored by fellow Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Rosendale of Montana and Eric Burlison of Missouri.

Mr. Biggs called the indictment “persecution” of Mr. Trump and suggested the move was a cover-up following testimony from Devon Archer, a former business partner of the Bidens.

Mr. Rosendale called the move “another sham indictment” from the Biden administration’s Justice Department.

“This is a blatant attempt by the left to tamper with our elections,” Mr. Rosendale said on social media. “I urge my House and Senate colleagues to immediately support [Rep. Matt Gaetz’s] bill, as I have, to defund this witch hunt.”

Ms. Greene, Georgia Republican, called the indictment a “political assassination.” She pitched using the Holman Rule to defund the special counsel’s office. That rule lets lawmakers add amendments to federal spending bills that would reduce the salaries of or fire federal employees.

“Jack Smith is a terrible attorney with a lot of failures in his career,” Ms. Greene said on social media. “Now he’s abusing his power, the power of the special counsel and the power of the Department of Injustice.”

Ms. Greene also has introduced articles of impeachment against Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Burlison and Mr. Rosendale also sent a letter in July requesting that Mr. Garland hand over unredacted copies of the conflict of interest reviews that Mr. Smith underwent before being appointed special counsel.

The letter, signed by nine GOP House lawmakers, said Mr. Smith has a “history of questionable political persecutions.” The letter also noted that Mr. Smith’s wife produced a documentary about former first lady Michelle Obama and donated to President Biden’s 2020 campaign, which raised “concerns about potential conflicts of interest for Mr. Smith.”

The lawmakers gave the Justice Department until Aug. 4 to hand over the documents.

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