As a former practicing lawyer with civil and criminal trial experience, I have perceived that our best prosecutors are intelligent, experienced and very knowledgeable on applicable legal issues. There are, however, more subjective elements of their skills that elevate them to be the best of our public servants. They are relentlessly determined and thick-skinned. They can and do absorb personal assaults against them with a shrug of the shoulders and are almost pleased that reprehensible defendants are finding their efforts effective. They are righteous warriors with a killer instinct.

We face the greatest threat to our democracy in our lifetime. Merrick Garland has properly focused on the perpetrators of the assault on our Capital, hundreds of them, each of which has been time consuming. Many prosecutors would agree that, in most situations, starting with the assailants and squeezing them to get to those who planned and orchestrated the crime makes sense. The complexity of the insurrection, however, required a simultaneous deep-dive investigation into the conduct of Trump and other White House and Congressional personnel. We have had four years before the next presidential election may slow down or interfere with the on-going investigation. Worse yet, a Republican presidential victory in 2024 could halt an ongoing investigation entirely, if not completed.

Moreover, it has long been clear that Trump would resist and frustrate an investigation as much as possible. It is also clear that Trump sues and verbally assaults anyone who crosses him. We have recently seen that even FBI agents in the Mar-a-Lago documents investigation may have been intimidated by the former president’s potential reprisals.

Special Counsel Jack Smith is the righteous warrior America needs—but why was he not appointed one or two years ago? Surely, the investigation would be much further along.  Why has someone of the caliber of Andrew Weissmann been sitting on the sidelines of this great threat to our country? He was a critical part of the Mueller investigation and prosecutor of mafia family leaders. He is fearless and undaunted. He is one of America’s best prosecutorial resources. He and a handful of others with his credentials should have been enlisted in leadership roles at the beginning of this monumental effort. The appointment of Jack Smith, two years into the investigation, evidences the need for our best and brightest to address this historical crisis.

We all knew what we were up against from the outset of the Biden administration. We needed to bring up all our prosecutorial artillery when the DOJ investigation began. Going after the foot soldiers of the insurrection contemporaneously with the investigation of the conduct of those who were or may have been the planners of the Capital assault should have been undertaken.

We now need to hope that the vigorous efforts of Jack Smith are not too late.

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  1. Regarding Weisman in particular I too wish he was in a top role in investigating and prosecuting J6. Trump and his top advisors in particular since he already had so much experience dealing with all the key players and their lawyers. And delaying tactics. However, this was going to be a huge political firestorm if it ever got to a courtroom even in normal circumstances and this is far worse than the environment that existed with Watergate.

    Weisman was so valuable because of his attack dog qualities. Yet he wound up becoming a talking head and unlike say Chuck Rosenberg who almost always adopts a neutral “here are the legal and practical issues for this side and that side” approach to commentary Weisman often takes a clearly prosecutorial side that if not partisan can easily be spun that way for those who don’t have the time or inclination to absorb context and nuance. So, he long ago disqualified himself from being able to take active part in the current goings on at DOJ.


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