Republican members of Congress made the suggestion that the funding for special counsel Jack Smith be stopped in order to control the federal probe of former president Trump.
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) stated that he intended to file legislation to defund the investigation after Trump disclosed this week that he got a “target letter” in the investigation’s section pertaining to the 2020 race.
Gaetz wrote in a tweet, “I intend on proposing a measure to DEFUND Jack Smith’s witch hunt targeting President Trump. They’re currently undermining our democracy and interfering in elections. We must take quick action since the US Congress has the power to end this electoral tampering.”
Gaetz stated in a video he included in the tweet that the measure will be introduced as a “free-standing legislation” and wouldn’t have to go through the process of appropriation.
Such legislation may find traction in the Republican-controlled House, where Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) expressed alarm about the possibility of unfair justice at a time in which Trump is seeking reelection.
“What do they do now? You may have seen that President Trump recently increased in the polls and was even ahead of President Biden for re-election. Weaponize government to take on their main rival,” McCarthy warned.
However, the plan would have a difficult time passing in the Democratic-controlled Senate and would encounter resistance from the White House. Gaetz addressed this difficulty in his video, stating that he had “no illusions that Joe Biden would sign a legislative device like this into law. You have a right to know where your representatives in Congress are counted, even if I am certain that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer would never put such a thing to a vote. Will they support my bill as a co-sponsor? I sincerely hope they do.”
Over $9 million in taxpayer funds have been spent on Smith’s inquiry from the time he was named special counsel in November through March, according to information released by the Dept. of Justice earlier this month. This amount was higher than the sums for the lengthy special counsel investigations into the Russia scandal by John Durham and Biden’s managing of sensitive information by Robert Hur.