Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing the two federal criminal cases against former President Trump, became a victim of “swatting” on Christmas Day. A false 911 call claimed Smith had harmed his wife in Maryland. Montgomery County Police responded but were stopped by Deputy U.S. Marshals, who verified the false alarm and confirmed the safety of everyone at Smith’s home.
Swatting, a harmful prank involving fake emergency reports to trigger a SWAT team deployment, is increasingly used against public figures. The false report created a fabricated violent situation at Smith’s residence, leading to police action.
Swatting typically involves a critical and violent situation, such as a bomb threat, hostage situation, or active shooter, with the intention of prompting a response from a SWAT team or other heavily armed law enforcement personnel.
The term “swatting” comes from the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams that are often dispatched in response to these high-risk situations. The caller usually reports the emergency at the address of their target, often someone they know through online interactions or gaming communities.
This not only diverts critical resources from real emergencies but also poses significant risks to the unsuspecting victims, law enforcement, and the surrounding community. In some cases, swatting incidents have tragically led to injuries and even fatalities. It is considered a serious crime in many jurisdictions and can result in severe legal consequences for the perpetrator.
Smith, a seasoned prosecutor with extensive experience in handling complex criminal investigations, was appointed as the special counsel by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Smith’s appointment was made to oversee two high-profile investigations related to former President Donald Trump.
These investigations include the inquiry into the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida estate, and key aspects of the January 6 investigation, particularly focusing on Trump’s actions surrounding the Capitol breach.
Smith’s appointment as special counsel signaled the Justice Department’s recognition of the sensitive nature of the investigations, given Trump’s prominent political status and his announcement of a 2024 presidential run. The role of a special counsel is typically reserved for investigations where there’s a potential conflict of interest within the Department of Justice, or to ensure an extra layer of independence and impartiality in politically sensitive cases.
Smith’s extensive background, including his work at the International Criminal Court and prior roles within the U.S. Justice Department, has positioned him as a figure of significance for the high-stakes investigations.
Trump has ridiculed Smith following the Supreme Court’s dismissal of his efforts to expedite the election interference case before the upcoming presidential election in November.
“The Supreme Court has unanimously rejected Deranged Jack Smith’s desperate attempt to short circuit our Great Constitution,” wrote Trump on Truth Social. “Crooked Joe Biden and his henchmen waited three years to bring this sham case, and now they have tried and failed to rush this Witch Hunt through the courts. Of course I am entitled to Presidential Immunity.”
“I was President, it was my right and duty to investigate, and speak on, the rigged and stolen 2020 Presidential Election. Looking forward to the very important arguments on Presidential Immunity in front of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Make America Great Again!”
I was just swatted.
This is like the 8th time.
On Christmas with my family here.
My local police are the GREATEST and shouldn’t have to deal with this.
I appreciate them so much and my family and I are in joyous spirits celebrating the birth of our savior Jesus Christ!
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) December 25, 2023
The swatting case isn’t unique, however. Other public figures, including Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and tycoon George Soros, have faced similar harassment.