Latest News 26-06-2024 21:01 10 Views

Trump allies rush to target Jack Smith in House DOJ spending bill

House GOP negotiators stopped short of targeting funds for Special Counsel Jack Smith in next year’s Justice Department spending bill, but former President Trump’s allies are already making plans to force it into the final text.

At least three House Republicans are aiming to introduce amendments to the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill that would target the prosecutions against Trump in some way, Fox News Digital has learned.

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said he was disappointed that his policy targeting Trump’s prosecutions was not included in the base text but that he would be offering it as an amendment later in the legislative process.

'When we have our full House Appropriations Committee markup for CJS next month, I will file my amendment to prohibit taxpayer dollars from funding the prosecution of a presidential candidate before the 2024 election. This measure would impact Fani Willis, Alvin Bragg, and Jack Smith, as they all receive federal funds,' Clyde said.

A source close to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., one of Trump’s most vocal House allies, told Fox News Digital she intends to file an amendment similar to a measure she previously introduced targeting the funding of special counsels.

Greene said Tuesday evening that it was a 'failure' for the House GOP to not defund Smith in the legislation's base text.

Trump ally Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., also plans to introduce an amendment stripping Smith's funding, his office told Fox News Digital.

The CJS appropriations bill released Tuesday cuts the Justice Department's funding by nearly $1 billion.

It also includes cuts to the FBI's budget by roughly 3.5% and blocks the construction of a new bureau headquarters in Maryland.

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, also signaled that he would push for cuts to the Trump investigations in Georgia and New York in the CJS bill. 

Earlier this month, Jordan sent a letter to House Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., recommending that the spending bill 'include language to eliminate federal funding for state prosecutors or state attorneys general involved in lawfare and to zero out federal funding for federal prosecutors engaged in such abuse.'

A spokeswoman for Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., told Fox News Digital when asked about the amendment push, 'The Committee is working to methodically mark up appropriations bills and work through its process. The Speaker looks forward to seeing what comes out of Committee and continuing to move bills through a full floor process.'

Johnson said the House needed a more permanent solution for accountability when asked by CNN on Tuesday night about the lack of measures targeting Smith.

'We've got to bring accountability because that's the role of Congress under the Constitution. The question is, what's the best and most effective way to do that? So there's a lot of thoughtful discussion and debate. The underlying bill doesn't have the provision in, but there may be amendments,' he said. 'We have to look at what is actually a lawmaking exercise and not just a messaging exercise, because the times are too important.'

He told Politico last month that the House would not seek to eliminate Smith's job in this appropriations process. 

He said, 'There is a necessity for a function like that, because sometimes the Department of Justice — which is an executive branch agency — can’t necessarily, without a conflict of interest, investigate or prosecute the president who’s their boss, or the president’s family.'

But a week later, he told reporters that Congress could target special counsel funding. Outside the Manhattan courthouse where Trump's criminal proceeding was taking place, Johnson said, 'How does Congress correct that error and ensure that a special counsel is not abusing their authority? You know, we have oversight, of course, we also have the power of the purse.'

The CJS appropriations bill is being weighed by a panel on the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday and is expected to see a chamber-wide vote sometime next month.

But even if the amendments targeting Trump's prosecutions make it into the bill, it's unlikely to be considered by the Democrat-controlled Senate, which is working on its own version of the fiscal year 2025 appropriations bills.

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