Special counsel Jack Smith has enlisted veteran war crimes prosecutor Alex Whiting, his former deputy at The Hague, to join his team as it prepares to try former President Donald Trump in Washington and Florida.
The role of Whiting on Smith's team remains uncertain, according to Politico.
Whiting partnered with Smith for three years, prosecuting Kosovo crimes in the late 1990s. A Yale-educated attorney, he served at the International Criminal Court from 2010-2013. Whiting has taught law at Harvard since 2007. Initially an assistant professor under then-Dean Elena Kagan, who is now a Supreme Court justice, Whiting has been a visiting professor since 2013.
In addition to his involvement in war crimes cases, including a five-year role as a trial lawyer in three war crimes prosecutions linked to the Kosovo conflict, Whiting also has a notable background in prosecuting organized crime. He served in this capacity for seven years with the Justice Department in Boston, from 1995 to 2002.
During a break in a Jan. 6 defendant's trial this week, a Politico reporter saw Whiting introduce himself to prosecutors as a new member of Smith's team, saying he "just joined" the office.
Smith served as chief prosecutor in the Kosovo Specialist Chamber in The Hague from 2018 to 2022. Whiting temporarily led the office last year when Smith was appointed as special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead the Trump investigations.
According to Politico, Whiting has frequently commented on Robert Mueller, the former special counsel who investigated alleged links between Russia and Trump's 2016 campaign. Whiting wrote articles and gave interviews assessing the legal challenges faced by Trump concerning his efforts to obstruct the investigation, often aligning with those who saw substantial legal risks for the former president.
Smith's hiring of Whiting follows a pattern of seeking support from trusted associates across his career's various stages. Notably, his key deputies, David Harbach and Raymond Hulser, collaborated closely with Smith during his tenure at the Justice Department in the Obama era. At that time, Smith led the Public Integrity Section.
Harbach was recently seen observing a potential adversary at the D.C. federal courthouse during jury selection for former Trump adviser Peter Navarro, represented by attorney Stanley Woodward, Politico reported. Woodward also represents Walt Nauta, Trump's co-defendant in another case related to sensitive national security documents at Trump's Florida estate, led by Smith.
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.