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Smith, Special Counsel in Trump Cases, 'Comes In - Gets Things Done'

Jack Smith, the Justice Department special counsel who will oversee two criminal investigations involving former President Trump, has been prosecuting criminal cases, including politically charged corruption investigations involving public officials, for nearly 30 years. Smith began his career as what the New York Times calls a lawyer out of central casting, a clean-cut prosecutor from upstate New York who played well in front of juries. Now in his mid-50s, he will bring both the experience and patient demeanor required to deal with the legal challenges of scrutinizing Trump and the fierce partisan rancor that is sure to follow.

“Jack has a way about him of projecting calm,” said Kelly Currie, who former fellow prosecutor in Brooklyn. “People look to him for steady guidance.” A Harvard Law graduate, Smith worked as a prosecutor both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Among his most prominent cases was filed against New York City police officers involved in an attack on a Haitian immigrant named Abner Louima in 1997. Several officers were convicted on federal civil rights charges and the main assailant, Justin Volpe, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Colleen Kavanagh, who worked with Smith in Brooklyn, described him as a “quintessential public servant” who was driven to pursue big cases. “There’s no mystery here,” Kavanagh said. “He’s a hardworking, smart person who knows how to move cases. That’s who he is: He comes in and gets things done.” From 2008 to 2010, Smith was a prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He oversaw cases against foreign government officials and militia members accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.


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