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Trump’s offensive against Jack Smith takes an incoherent turn

The former president’s tirades about special counsel Jack Smith seem to reflect something more important than his routine lying: Donald Trump seems scared.


After Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith to oversee the criminal investigations into Donald Trump, the former wasted little time lashing out. But as we discussed last week, the Republican focused more on the process and less on the person.

For example, Trump described the Justice Department’s move as “appalling” and a “horrendous abuse of power,” adding that the process itself is “rigged.” The former president went on to suggest that, since he’s been impeached twice before, it’s “sort of like double jeopardy“ for him to face criminal investigations into separate matters now.

In related news, he doesn’t appear to understand what “double jeopardy” means.

But as last week progressed, Trump’s specific interest in Smith grew. On Thanksgiving, for example, the former president didn’t deliver holiday well-wishes to Americans, but he did use his social media platform to condemn the special counsel as “a Radical Left Prosecutor, who is totally controlled by Eric Holder and Obama.”

Referring to the two threads of the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigations, the Republican added that he “did nothing wrong on Jan 6th (Peacefully & Patrioticly), or with Documents (Check out past presidents).”

In reality, none of this made any sense — though I do appreciate the irony of Trump struggling to spell “patriotically” — but it didn’t stop him from adding a day later that “Trump Hater Jack Smith ... should never be allowed to work on anything having to do with me because of his and his family’s anger, hatred, and bias.”

Yesterday, the former president even raised concerns about the special counsel’s name:

“Jack Smith (nice, soft name, isn’t it?), is a political hit man, who is totally compromised, and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near our already highly WEAPONIZED & CORRUPT ‘Justice’ Department and FBI, which are stuffed with, and listening to, Radical Left ‘MONSTERS,’ who will cause difficulties for our Country the likes of which we have not seen before. By the way, OBAMA SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN (and got caught!), & what about the MASSIVE Joe & Hunter BIDEN CORRUPTION (Evidence already in!)?”

For good measure, Trump added soon after he wishes “Trump Hater Jack Smith” would investigate his bizarre conspiracy theories — about the Justice Department, Christopher Steele, Hunter Biden, Jan. 6 and his 2020 election defeat.

As a substantive matter, there’s no point in going claim by claim, highlighting every error of fact and judgment. Suffice to say, the Republican’s incoherent assertions are wholly detached from anything resembling the truth.

But stepping back, his tirades seem to reflect something more important than his routine lying: Trump seems scared. The former president is scrambling in the hopes of trying to discredit a highly respected career prosecutor, and he apparently believes hysterical online tantrums will do the trick.

These are not the actions of a suspected criminal expecting exoneration.