Jim Jordan Spars With Merrick Garland Over Jack Smith Allegedly ‘Tampering’ With Evidence In Mar-A-Lago Raid

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio questioned Attorney General Merrick Garland Tuesday about allegations that special counsel Jack Smith tampered with evidence in the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump.

Garland testified before the House Judiciary Committee in a hearing about oversight of the Department of Justice. Jordan questioned Garland about a May 3 filing in which Smith admitted that evidence had not been properly maintained by federal investigators following the Aug. 8, 2022, raid on Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate owned by the former president.

“Prosecutors aren’t supposed to tamper with evidence, and it looks like that’s what he did,” Jordan said. “He changed the sequence of the documents that he seized from Mar-a-Lago.”

“I’m sorry, that’s a false characterization,” Garland said.

Jordan cut Garland off, holding up an apparent printout of the filing.



“Here’s what he said to the court, Mr. Attorney General,” Jordan responded, before reading from the papers. “‘There are some boxes where the order of items within the box is not the same as in the associated scans.’ He said it, I didn’t say it. He told the court that.”

“Now you’re asking me to comment on a discovery dispute that’s going, ongoing in court. I don’t know the facts about…”

Jordan cut Garland off a second time, appearing to lean forward.

“He admitted to the court that they tamper with the evidence he mishandled the very documents he’s charging President Trump of mishandling, and I’m asking, do you regret picking this guy as the special counsel in the most important special counsel investigation probably in American history?” Jordan said.

A federal grand jury issued a 37-count indictment against Trump in June 2023 based on Smith’s investigation into allegations surrounding the classified documents which drew public attention after the August 2022 raid on Mar-a-Lago.

“I’m sorry, I did not hear the words tamper in the statement that Mr. Smith filed,” Garland claimed. “He did not use those words.”

“Let me ask it this way: Are you supposed to change the order of the documents that you seize and the physical documents don’t match up with the scanned documents?” Jordan asked. “Are you supposed to do that as a prosecutor?”

Garland previously came under fire over allegations that the Department of Justice targeted parents who spoke out at school board meetings, allegations of targeting pro-life activists for prosecution over protests at abortion facilities and for not addressing protests targeting conservative justices following the leak of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

“This is a matter in dispute in discovery in that court and I’m going to leave it for the district court to make a determination after…” Garland said.

“Let me say one last thing to you: This is not in dispute,” Jordan said. “This is what he said in the court filing. Jack Smith’s team said that to the judge in the court, by the way, this case now, basically is on hold because they screwed up so many things.”

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