Special Counsel Jack E. Smith’s lead prosecutor in the politicized federal criminal case against President Donald Trump is under scrutiny for past political contributions to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Karen E. Gilbert’s role in trying to convict President Trump for the alleged mishandling of White House documents has ignited renewed debates over the impartiality of the Biden Department of Justice (DOJ).
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) brought the issue to light, demanding transparency from Attorney General Merrick Garland. Gaetz requested disclosure of all of Smith’s staff, underlining the public concern about the structure of the special counsel’s office.
— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) June 13, 2023
This controversy over Gilbert’s past donations has raised eyebrows, given her role in investigating Trump’s conduct. FEC records reveal Gilbert, a Department of Justice employee in Florida, donated $1,000 to Biden and $250 to the Biden Action Fund in the 2019-20 cycle, as well as contributions to the DNC and Obama in prior years.
Concerns extend beyond her financial support for Democrats. Breitbart News’ Kristina Wong reported that a federal judge reprimanded Gilbert for recording a defense lawyer and his investigator without their knowledge. This history further questions the credibility of an investigation probing the former Republican President.
Gaetz’s demand for complete disclosures about those working under Smith reflects the need for a balanced, impartial investigation. The congressman gave Garland a deadline of July 7 to produce a list of all employees hired by or detailed to Smith’s office.
As Gaetz stated, the structure and staffing of Smith’s office are “both highly irregular and of extraordinary public concern.”
The debate over transparency extends further, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) joining the cause. Greene is pushing to cut funding for Smith’s office and his investigation into Trump.
“Today, I’d like to announce that I’m writing an appropriations rider to defund Jack Smith, special counsel, his office, and the investigation,” Greene said. Gaetz responded with support on Twitter, echoing the call for accountability and fairness.
Questions are also being raised about other team members. Reports suggest that Jay Bratt, another prosecutor on Smith’s team, has faced accusations of misconduct.
Despite these controversies, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida remains confident in the ethical standards of its prosecutors. However, as Gaetz and Greene assert, the American public deserves clarity about the staff involved in such a high-profile investigation.