Former Arizona congressman Rick Renzi (R), who was convicted in federal court 2013 over a financial dealings, said Friday that Special Counsel Jack Smith is settling old scores in the case of former President Donald Trump.
Renzi, who served nearly two years of a 36-month sentence and maintains his innocence, told conservative radio host and litigator Mark Levin on that Smith had ties to his own case, particularly though the role of then-prosecutor David Harbach.
Harbach, Renzi said, had overseen prosecutors in his own case, which had dragged on for years and involved accusations of prosecutorial misconduct, leading to hearings both before his trial and after its conclusion.
Harbach and Smith have worked together for years, both at the Department of Justice and at the Kosovo war crimes tribunal, where Smith was working before being brought back by Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate Trump. Harbach, brought back from private practice, has been representing the Special Counsel’s office in court appearances in the federal court in Miami where Trump is set to face trial mid-election next May.
Harbach, Renzi pointed out, has worked with Smith on his most controversial cases, including the conviction of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), which was overturned unanimously by the Supreme Court, and the failed prosecution of former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), who was acquitted by a jury. Harboch also has ties to former FBI director James Comey, Harboch noted, and was involved in the probe into Hillary Clintons’ emails.
Comey made the unusual public announcement that Clinton had been “extremely careless” about hosting her government emails on a private server, the contents of which were then destroyed, but declined to prosecute.
Trump later fired Comey early in his administration; Comey then triggered the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the “Russia collusion” case by leaking a memorandum of his conversations with Trump.
Renzi claimed that Harbach had retired from the Department of Justice “when the heat came on” over the Clinton email case. Harboch was then called out of private practice to “put the hit” on Trump.
“James Comey’s hit man is the guy speaking in the Miami courtroom to Judge [Aileen] Cannon,” he told Levin. “That’s James Comey’s revenge.”
Renzi was accused of diverting premiums from his own insurance company’s clients to fund his congressional campaign, and of promising his vote on a mining issue in return for a land deal to recover money he was owed.
As noted by PJ Media earlier this month, Renzi had accused prosecutors of misconduct for, among other things, wiretapping telephone conversations between him and his attorney, and for allegedly hiding exculpatory evidence about a witness’s testimony, whom Renzi claimed had been paid to change his story. (Former President Trump posted the PJ Media article on Truth Social, adding a personal attack against Smith.)
A judge threw out the wiretaps in 2010, agreeing that they had violated attorney-client privilege, but did not dismiss the case.
Notably, the indictment of Trump in the documents case relied in part on grand jury testimony that Smith’s team obtained from one of Trump’s lawyers over objections about attorney-client privilege.
Renzi agreed with Levin’s suggestion that Jack Smith “had to know” of the alleged prosecutorial misconduct in his case.
He told Levin that his prosecution had been the result of the fact that he was considered a political rival to then-Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano (D), who had ties to the U.S. Attorney’s office through her chief of staff. He added that an appellate judge who had ordered him to prison “was the mentor for a clerk, a senior clerk by the name of Jack Smith.”
Renzi’s pardon had been supported by a group of former congressional colleagues. It was granted by President Trump in the closing hours of his presidency.
Levin asked Renzi whether Smith was “hot to trot” to put Trump in prison because he had pardoned Renzi. Renzi said it was one reason, but the main reason was that Trump is a “New York street fighter” against the status quo in Washington, including the power of federal prosecutors.
Renzi said that Smith and his team were using selective leaks to the media to make Trump look as bad as possible before the trial, claiming he had done so in prior cases. “He’s a political animal,” Renzi said of Smith.
He also cited Smith’s ties to former Attorney General Eric Holder, saying that he had close ties to former President Barack Obama’s circle of aides and allies, and had been brought into target Trump for that reason.
Smith said last month that he had indicted Trump because of the rule of law: “We have one set of laws in this country and they apply to everyone,” he said, without explaining the lack of prosecution against Clinton — or against President Joe Biden, who had been found to be in possession of classified materials for years after his service in the Senate and as Vice President, without any authority to retain or declassify such materials.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.