AP Whitewashes IRS Scandal Out of Glowing Special Counsel Jack Smith Profile

November 22nd, 2022 11:04 AM

The Associated Press published a glowing profile of newly appointed Special Counsel Jack Smith under the headline "New special counsel has long career confronting corruption." 

AP reporter Eric Tucker completely skipped a scandal in Smith's interactions with IRS official Lois Lerner seeking to use the IRS to crack down on Tea Party and conservative groups.

Tucker proclaimed "Smith will presumably have to move swiftly to ensure his work concludes before the home stretch of the 2024 presidential election, given the Justice Department’s historic interest in avoiding action that could be seen as interfering in the outcome of a race."

Attorney General Merrick Garland named Smith just three days after Trump declared his 2024 campaign, so it can already be seen as interfering in the outcome of his race. 

Smith was painted as a savior for responding to Obama Attorney General Eric Holder's request to run the Public Integrity Unit, meaning this is the second time Team Obama-Biden has picked him to be...."independent"? That's how AP wants to play it.

Colleagues who have worked with Smith describe him as hard-charging, fast-working and passionate, a prosecutor who operates free of political persuasion and who is relentless about his cases. He displays a similar style outside court, where he is a competitive athlete who has participated in triathlons all over the world.

“He’s an exquisite lawyer and an exquisite prosecutor,” said Lanny Breuer, who led the Justice Department’s criminal division, which includes the public integrity section, at the time Smith was hired for the job. “He’s not political at all. He’s straight down the middle.”

How sweet. Former Assistant General Lanny Breuer who participated in the ATF Operation Fast and Furious coverup in the Holder Justice Department vouches for Smith as a standup guy who is "not political at all" and plays it "straight down the middle."

Tucker found another colleague for adulatory adjectives: 

Alan Tieger, a fellow war crimes prosecutor who has worked with Smith, described him as “both a guy imbued with old-fashioned ideals but who’s relentless and driven and brilliant.” He said Smith “brings that entire skill set to bear.”

“You never see Jack dragging through a day,” Tieger said. “He’s full-on every day.”

Tieger is also a cheerleader in a New York Times profile of Smith: “You want an idealist and a brilliant independent thinker and a gutsy lawyer, then you got him.” 

Although AP sent Smith's IRS Lois Lerner scandal down the memory hole, it was so egregious that even CNN felt obligated to report on it.

The 2014 official House of Representatives report on the scandal, "How Politics Led the IRS to Target Conservative Tax-Exempt Applicants for their Political Beliefs" reveals  just how much of an active role Smith had in targeting those conservative applicants:

After reading the New York Times article, Justice Department Public Integrity Section Chief Jack Smith wrote to his colleagues: “Check out [the] article on front page of ny times [sic] regarding misuse of nonprofits for indirectly funding campaigns. This seems egregious to me – could we ever charge a [18 U.S.C. §] 371 conspiracy to violate laws of the USA for misuse of such non profits to get around existing campaign finance laws + limits? I know 501s are legal but if they are knowingly using them beyond what they are allowed to use them for (and we could prove that factually)? IRS Commissioner sarah ingram [sic] oversees these groups. Let’s discuss tomorrow but maybe we should try to set up a meeting this week.”

And now you now why the Associated Press was too embarrassed to give us the full background on "straight down the middle" Smith.