Republicans in the House of Representatives are investigating a number of meetings between special counsel Jack Smith and staffers of the Biden White House. Smith is leading two federal cases against former President Donald Trump and has asserted that his investigations have been independent of politics.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee sent letters to White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients and Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting correspondence tied to Smith and one of his prosecutors meeting with members of the Biden administration.
Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote that news of the meeting “raises serious concerns regarding the potential for a coordinated effort between the Department and the White House to investigate and prosecute President Biden‘s political opponents.”
According to White House records, in March Jay Bratt from Smith’s office met with a member of the White House counsel’s office staff and FBI agent Danielle Ray.
This was not the first meeting between Bratt and White House staff, who also met in September and November 2021.
According to Jordan, there was no justification for the meetings between the office of a prosecutor investigating a former president and members of the Biden administration.
“These facts reinforce the serious concerns that Mr. Smith is not running an impartial and unprejudiced investigation and prosecution,” Jordan wrote.
So far, Smith’s office and the White House have declined comment.
The alleged relationship between Bratt and the Biden White House reinforces the perception that Smith's pursuit of President Trump is not impartial. https://t.co/No5esOQypb
— House Judiciary GOP 🇺🇸 (@JudiciaryGOP) August 29, 2023
A former member of the Justice Department separately accused Bratt of attempting to extort former Trump confidant Walt Nauta during his investigation of the former president.
Former chief of the Justice Department’s organized crime unit James Trusty said that Bratt cited Nauta’s attorney Stanley Woodward in a court filing. Woodward reportedly requested an application to become a federal judge.
According to Trusty, Bratt said that it would be a shame, essentially, if he endangered his pending judgeship by not flipping Nauta against President Trump.”
“So the people that we are entrusting in our criminal justice system to fairly and impartially and transparently pursue justice are actually obstructionists because they’re so hellbent on going after one target: President Trump,” he said.