Court records show that the top prosecutor in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump was previously cited for unethical behavior in a federal drug case, according to the New York Post.
Karen Gilbert, who is currently playing a key role on Special Counsel Jack Smith's team, was required to step down as the head of the narcotics division in the Miami U.S. Attorney's office due to her involvement in illegally wiretapping a defense attorney in 2009, according to court documents.
Around that time, Florida family medicine physician Dr. Ali Shaygan was pitted against Gilbert. In June 2007, Shaygan's patient, James Brendan Downey, died after receiving a prescription for methadone. During the litigation process, Gilbert and her colleague Sean Cronin suspected the defense of witness tampering. They then decided to wiretap Shaygan's lawyer without approval from the local U.S. Attorney at the time, R. Alexander Acosta. Despite Gilbert's efforts to throw ethics, the wiretap ended up providing no useful information.
In an interview with the Post, Shaygan, who was found not guilty on all charges, told the publication that Gilbert is unfit to be a federal prosecutor.
"I have no reason to believe that she will behave ethically in any circumstance," Shaygan said. "I do not find it appropriate for her to still be employed by the Department of Justice. She was a sorry sack of lies."
Following the decision in Shaygan's case, it was described that Gilbert and her team had acted in "bad faith" and with "gross negligence." As a result, U.S. District Judge Alan Gold ordered the government to pay $601,795 in legal fees to Shaygan.
"The government acknowledges and deeply regrets that it made serious mistakes," the Justice Department wrote in court papers.
According to records from the Federal Election Commission, Gilbert has also been criticized for her past political donations to Democratic candidates running for federal office. This includes over $2,000 given to the presidential campaigns of former President Barack Obama and current President Joe Biden.
Earlier this week, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., sent U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland a letter requesting the names of all parties involved in the Trump case.
"It should be obvious that doing due diligence in vetting an office that has apparently done no vetting of its own personnel, or worse, might affirmatively be seeking to staff with sanctioned lawyers and partisan hatchet-men (and women), is an entirely appropriate purpose and one small reason I am requesting this information," Gaetz wrote.
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