Since his indictment last month on charges of withholding classified documents, former president Donald Trump has publicly called special counsel Jack Smith “deranged” and a “psycho” and said he “looks like a crackhead.”
In response, Smith and the federal judge overseeing his pending criminal trial have said … nothing.
The prosecution of Trump, who is the first former president to face federal criminal charges and is also under an unrelated state indictment in New York, presents a test for the criminal justice system: whether it can effectively handle such a high-profile defendant known for daily and sometimes hourly diatribes against his perceived enemies.
Trump’s broadsides on social media against the Justice Department, the FBI, and Smith in particular have not gone unnoticed. The government spent $1.9 million for U.S. Marshals to provide security to Smith and other officials between November 2022 and March, according to officials. Experts and government officials have said individual prosecutors are facing harassment and threats online from members of right-wing extremist groups.
The government doesn’t have to look far for examples in which Trump’s vitriol has led to security problems — the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol is one example, as is the recent arrest of an armed man near former president Barack Obama’s home after Trump posted an address he claimed was Obama’s on social media. [Continue reading…]