Jun 12, 2023 - Politics
Town Talker

Jack Smith's Washington

Jack Smith is the DOJ special counsel prosecuting Trump. Photo: Tom Brenner/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The day after unleashing the first-ever federal indictment against a former prez, Jack Smith hit his pool in Bethesda, the triathlete trailed by security and spinning suntanners’ heads.

Why it matters: The historic prosecution of Trump is the talk of the town. But way less is known about the man behind the 37 charges, the super slender, grizzly bearded 54-year-old career prosecutor who has gone after war criminals, corrupt pols, and mobsters.

Zoom in: Smith has evaded Playbook spotteds. Interviews? Forget it!

  • The stoic special counsel has “kept a profile so low that a recent sighting of him emerging from a Subway with lunch was news in the Justice Department headquarters across town,” the New York Times’ Glenn Thrush wrote over the weekend.

What we know: He’s known for an aggressive cadence — inside and outside the courtroom.

  • Yes, he’s a triathlete: He’s done 100+ races across the globe since 2002. Also, nine Ironmans — and that’s just what we know as of 2018, when he dished to his swim club’s website in Nashville, where he worked in private practice and for the feds.
  • After a truck hit him on a bike in the 2000s, he overcame a fractured pelvis.
  • For a guy who "could not swim a length of the pool until my mid-thirties" — his words — I hear his freestyle is pretty smooth.

“Enthusiasm and high energy are key ingredients to a happy life,” he said in 2018.

  • Smith is married to filmmaker Katy Chevigny, who helped produce the Michelle Obama documentary “Becoming.”
  • He's a registered independent. Conservatives have attacked Chevigny for donating $2,000 in support of 2020 Biden’s run. Trump called both of them “cowards.”

Smith grew up in central New York, per the Times, attended a SUNY school and then Harvard Law.

“Our nation’s commitment to the rule of law sets an example for the world,” he said on Friday. He investigated war crimes in Kosovo at The Hague before being named last November as special counsel to oversee Trump probes.

Flashback: Before Smith riveted Washington, he shook up Richmond as head of the Justice Department division that prosecuted former Virginia guv Bob McDonnell over gifts. (The Supreme Court in 2016 unanimously tossed out the conviction.)

  • Smith ran the graft division from 2010 to 2015, rousing a unit that had suffered multiple setbacks. Some were skeptical, “turned off by how aggressive he was,” prosecutor Edward Loya told the Times in 2014.

What’s next: Trump has a Miami court date Tuesday.

💬 I'm trying to better my butterfly stroke ... Town Talker is a weekly column about local politics and power. Send me news (and swim) tips: [email protected].

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