Florida congressman Matt Gaetz (R) introduced legislation this week to defund Special Counsel Jack Smith investigation of Donald Trump.
The announcement came one day after Trump said he’d been notified he is a target in the DOJ’s investigation of the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and the events leading up to it.
“Special Counsel Smith’s office has engaged in election interference by using his investigation to go after President Trump, who public polling has indicated is the leading contender in the 2024 Republican primary for president,” Gaetz said in a statement.
“The government is being weaponized to go after President Donald J. Trump,” he added. “The House of Representatives must defund Jack Smith’s office and end the witch hunt.”
He also alleged that Smith’s office lacked transparency because he hasn’t responded to his requests to produce specific documents related to his staff and the investigation.
Gaetz acknowledged in his statement that the legislation has very little chance of passing in Congress, but said his purpose for introducing the measure was primarily to put lawmakers on the record.
“The power of the purse is not some intermittent thing that we wield every fiscal cycle. It’s something that we have to wield day in and day out to achieve victory for our people and to stop this,” Gaetz said. “I’m under no illusion that the Democrats will bring such legislation up in the Senate, but the American people deserve to know where members of Congress stand.”
The target letter to Trump in the Jan. 6 case names three federal statutes under which the former president is expected to be charged: Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United States; deprivation of rights under color of law; and tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant, according to Rolling Stone.
If Trump is indicted, it will be his second on federal charges. Smith already secured an indictment on 37 counts relating to Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified documents and obstruction of Justice in the documents probe.