Special counsel Jack Smith and his team continue to pursue witnesses — some of whom are at the center of Donald Trump’s inner circle — and The Wall Street Journal summarized the current landscape this way in its latest report:
The special counsel investigating former President Donald Trump appears to have reached the advanced stages of his sweeping inquiry after a flurry of aggressive steps in recent weeks, some of which have set the stage for court fights that could take months to resolve.
Not surprisingly, the apparent fact that the investigation has reached “advanced stages” has made the Republican at the heart of the scandals awfully anxious.
Four months ago, when Smith was appointed to oversee the criminal investigations into Trump, the former president’s initial focus was on the process: The Republican didn’t question the special counsel so much as condemned the idea that a special counsel was necessary.
That didn’t last. Revisiting our earlier coverage, the former president eventually turned his attention to Smith personally, labeling him a “Trump Hater” and “political hit man” who shouldn’t be “allowed” to investigate him because someone Smith is related to doesn’t like Trump. The Republican soon after condemned Smith as a “fully weaponized monster.”
Last month, the former president went considerably further, calling Smith a “thug” in a “mental state of derangement” who “may very well turn out to be a criminal.”
And why, pray tell, might the special counsel turn out to be a criminal? Trump didn’t say, and no one seems to have any idea what he was talking about.
This past weekend, the Republican apparently thought it’d be a good idea to kick things up a notch, using his social media platform to condemn Smith as a “mad dog psycho” and a “Trump Hater ... of historic proportions.”
At one point, the former president also put the special counsel’s name in scare quotes, followed by a question mark — reinforcing Trump’s apparent belief that Jack Smith’s name is not actually Jack Smith. Why he keeps bringing this up is something of a mystery.
As we’ve discussed, the point goes well beyond Trump’s incoherent rants and the degree to which they’re detached from reality. Rather, what matters most is the former president’s apparent panic: He appears desperate to discredit a highly respected career prosecutor, and he apparently believes frantic online tantrums will do the trick.
These are not the actions of a suspected criminal expecting exoneration.
This post is a revised version of our related earlier coverage.