Who is Jack Smith, the special counsel who brought 2 Trump indictments?

Colleagues describe the veteran prosecutor as aggressive, independent and "fearless"

Special Counsel Jack Smith.
(Image credit: AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin)

United States Special Counsel Jack Smith is having the summer of a lifetime. In June, he indicted Donald Trump on four criminal counts in connection with the trove of documents improperly stored at the former president's Mar-a-Lago resort. Then, in August, he dropped another bevy of federal charges, including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., in regard to Trump's alleged attempts to overturn his loss in the last presidential election.

The historic development marks the first time a former president has been hit with one federal indictment, let alone two, and Smith, with his reputation as an "aggressive prosecutor known for trying high-stakes, politically explosive cases," per The Wall Street Journal, appears up for the challenge. "I intend to conduct the assigned investigations, and any prosecutions that may result from them, independently and in the best traditions of the Department of Justice," he said in a statement when first appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland last year. "The pace of the investigations will not pause or flag under my watch. I will exercise independent judgment and will move the investigations forward expeditiously and thoroughly to whatever outcome the facts and the law dictate."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Brigid Kennedy

Brigid Kennedy worked at The Week from 2021 to 2023 as a staff writer, junior editor and then story editor, with an interest in U.S. politics, the economy and the music industry.