Smith urges Americans to read Trump indictment, others suggest reading reversal of last big case

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled 8-0 in 2016 that McDonnell did not violate any bribery laws as he was convicted by Jack Smith.

Published: August 1, 2023 7:44pm

Updated: August 1, 2023 7:50pm

Special Counsel Jack Smith said Tuesday that he wants Americans to read his latest indictment on former President Donald Trump, but his critics want them to read the Supreme Court's stinging reversal of his last major political corruption case. 

"Today an indictment was unsealed, charging Donald J. Trump with conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to disenfranchise voters and conspiring and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding," Smith said during the press conference. "The indictment was issued by a grand jury of citizens here in the District of Columbia and it sets forth the crimes charged in detail. I encourage everyone to read it in full."

Critics of Smith are urging Americans to read another court file: the reversal of Smith's bribery conviction of former Virginia GOP Gov. Robert McDonnell a few years earlier.

McDonnell was prosecuted by Jack Smith for violating federal bribery law, which resulted in the United States Supreme Court overturning the conviction unanimously.

After the former governor was convicted by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section run by Smith, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled 8-0 that McDonnell did not violate any bribery laws, even if his actions weren't in great taste. 

“There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferraris, Rolexes, and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the Government’s boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the court's opinion.  “A more limited interpretation of the term ‘official act’ leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this Court.” 

McDonnell said during an interview on "Life, Liberty & Levin" that he believes Smith and his prosecutors "got the law wrong" when it came to his case. 

"That stretch was exceptionally painful; three-and-a-half years from the investigation until we got the unanimous vindication by the U.S. Supreme Court. I knew in my heart from the very beginning – I'm a lawyer, obviously, looking at the law and the facts – that these charges were completely wrong," he said during the interview, according to Fox News.  

"And yet they persisted and pulled the trigger and the indictments started. And of course, they've got all the investigators. They got all the money; they've got the access to The Washington Post through multiple leaks," McDonnell continued. 

When it came to the prosecution of Trump, McDonnell alleged Smith would "rather win than get it right."

"I think he doesn't do an honest look at the law to see if the facts apply to the law," McDonnell stated.

Trump was indicted as part of a special counsel Jack Smith's federal grand jury probe into his efforts to challenge the 2020 election results and the former president's role in the subsequent Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

Trump was charged with four counts, including conspiracy to defraud, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of, and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

Unlock unlimited access

  • No Ads Within Stories
  • No Autoplay Videos
  • VIP access to exclusive Just the News newsmaker events hosted by John Solomon and his team.
  • Support the investigative reporting and honest news presentation you've come to enjoy from Just the News.
  • Just the News Spotlight

    Support Just the News