On November 18, United States Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the appointment of Department of Justice (DoJ) former career prosecutor Jack Smith as Special Counsel.
Smith came to the new appointment from The Hague United Nations International Court of Justice where he investigated and prosecuted war crimes in Kosovo.
A release from the DoJ on November 18 stated Smith would oversee two ongoing criminal investigations.
"The first is the investigation, as described in court filings in the District of Columbia, into whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021."
"The second is the ongoing investigation involving classified documents and other presidential records, as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation, referenced and described in court filings submitted in a pending matter in the Southern District of Florida."
The first publicly known grand jury subpoenas appear to address the first investigation into attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Dated on or around November 22, the subpoenas were received by local officials in Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
Subpoenas were specifically issued to Milwaukee and Dane counties in Wisconsin; Wayne County, Michigan; Maricopa County, Arizona and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Legal experts speculate the requests also relate to the events leading up to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 in addition to the lists of false electors created by the GOP in some states.
The Special Counsel subpoenas request information about local election officials and any interactions from June 1, 2020, and Jan. 20, 2021 related to the 2020 election with former Republican President Donald Trump, his employees, any agents acting on his behalf and attorneys for his campaign.
After seeing who was named on the subpoenas, people had suggestions for who should also get a missive from Jack Smith.
Sympathy for anyone who participated in the insurrection or attempts to overturn the election was sparse online.
In his appointment memo for Special Counsel Jack Smith, AG Garland stated:
"Based on recent developments, including the former President’s announcement that he is a candidate for President in the next election, and the sitting President’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel."
“Such an appointment underscores the Department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters. It also allows prosecutors and agents to continue their work expeditiously, and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts and the law.”
“Although the Special Counsel will not be subject to the day-to-day supervision of any official of the Department, he must comply with the regulations, procedures, and policies of the Department. I will ensure that the Special Counsel receives the resources to conduct this work quickly and completely."
"Given the work done to date and Mr. Smith’s prosecutorial experience, I am confident that this appointment will not slow the completion of these investigations."
"The men and women who are pursuing these investigations are conducting themselves in accordance with the highest standards of professionalism. I could not be prouder of them."
"I strongly believe that the normal processes of this Department can handle all investigations with integrity."
"And I also believe that appointing a Special Counsel at this time is the right thing to do. The extraordinary circumstances presented here demand it."
"Mr. Smith is the right choice to complete these matters in an even-handed and urgent manner."
Special Counsel Smith resigned as the chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague investigating and adjudicating war crimes in Kosovo.