As special counsel nears decision in Trump cases, who are the lawyers working with him
Special counsel Jack Smith is nearing a decision over whether to recommend charges for former President Donald Trump's handling of classified documents and any role he may have played in efforts to overturn his loss in the 2020 presidential election.
Smith will make those politically charged decisions with guidance and information provided by a team of prosecutors and FBI agents. While much has been written about Smith -- a veteran federal prosecutor tapped late last year by Attorney General Merrick Garland to take over those federal probes -- much less has been written about the people on his team.
MORE: Who is Jack Smith, the special counsel tapped to oversee DOJ's Trump probes?
Here is a roster of the prosecutors known to be working with Smith:
JAN. 6-RELATED PROBE
Tom Windom has been a federal prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland for much of the past decade, working on an array of cases -- from financial fraud and domestic terrorism to public corruption and drug trafficking. Last year, as the Justice Department expanded its probes stemming from the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol, Windom took on a temporary role in the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., overseeing key parts of the department's investigative efforts. Earlier in his career, before joining the Justice Department, he once donated $750 in 2011 to the first congressional campaign of now-Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, and clerked for a Republican-nominated U.S. appeals court judge after graduating law school in 2005. In a profile last year, The New York Times called Windom "a little-known but aggressive federal prosecutor." Smith has described Windom as his "senior assistant special counsel."
JOSEPH "J.P." COONEY
Joseph Cooney is a long-time prosecutor from the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., where he took over as chief of the office's fraud and public corruption section. Cooney has been involved in many high-profile and controversial cases, including the doomed conspiracy case against Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., in 2015, and the obstruction-related cases against former Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Roger Stone, who was later pardoned by Trump. In mid-November 2020, when then-attorney general William Barr issued a memo that seemingly encouraged prosecutors to investigate allegations of election fraud, Cooney urged Barr to rescind the memo, telling the attorney general it promoted "conspiracy theories" about election fraud and "eradicate[d] the Department's guardrails against improper political influence." In a private email at the time, a senior Trump-appointed Justice Department official described Cooney as a "nonpartisan career prosecutor" who is "focused on integrity."
Mary Dorhmann serves in the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia, prosecuting federal cases involving drugs, guns, bank robberies, and other crimes in the nation's capital. She took on Jan. 6-related cases and helped the Justice Department investigate efforts to overturn the 2020 election. She is one of the younger known members of Smith's team, having graduated from Columbia University's law school in 2015. After graduating law school, she clerked for U.S. District Judge Judge Beryl Howell, who, as the chief federal judge in the District of Columbia until March, supervised the grand juries being used by Smith and decided legal matters stemming from his investigations.
David Rody was a long-time Justice Department prosecutor and the head of the Violent Crimes unit in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York when he left the Justice Department in 2011 for private practice. Before Smith was announced as special counsel, Rody left his high-paid private job to rejoin the Justice Department, reportedly as an adviser on the widening Trump-related probes. According to a biography posted online, Rody's previous tenure with the Justice Department gave him "extensive trial and investigative experience" with matters such as insider trading, drugs, terrorism and murder. He also directed investigations of fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice, and many other federal crimes.
TIMOTHY "TAD" DUREE
Timothy Duree has been with the Justice Department for more than a decade, first prosecuting federal cases in the Western District of Texas and then joining the department's fraud section in Washington, where he's worked since 2016. Between 2017 and 2020, he donated a total of $210 to Democratic causes, including a small donation to support President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential campaign.
Matthew Burke is a federal prosecutor based in the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of Virginia. He has often prosecuted fraud-related crimes, including pandemic-related fraud and the 2020 case against a former spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration who pleaded guilty to defrauding companies out of $4.4 million by pretending to be a covert CIA officer.
RAYMOND "RAY" HULSER
Raymond Hulser has been a prosecutor with the Justice Department for more than two decades, starting in the Public Integrity Section of the department's Criminal Division, which investigates public corruption and other misconduct by government officials. In 2015, he became chief of the section, with Cooney as his deputy. At the time, NPR described Hulser as a "Mr. Fix It" within the Justice Department. "[T]his section is not going to be shy about bringing important and tough cases, and we're going to try those cases," Hulser told NPR.
David Harbach has a diverse career background. Early in his career, he was a private attorney and then an assistant district attorney in Houston. He eventually joined the Justice Department and between 2005 and 2019 he prosecuted public corruption and other federal crimes in New York, Washington, and Richmond, Virginia – with a short stint at the FBI working for then-FBI director James Comey. Reuters previously described him as a "veteran prosecutor of high-profile corruption cases," including the failed campaign finance case against former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., and the bribery case against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican. In 2019, Harbach joined the Kosovo Specialist Prosecutor's Office at The Hague, working under now-special counsel Smith to prosecute war crimes. He then returned to private practice in late 2021, before joining Smith again.
John Pellettieri has been with the Justice Department since 2009, serving as an attorney in the Criminal Division's appellate section. As part of Smith's team, Pellettieri has helped persuade federal judges to let investigators question Trump's attorney Evan Corcoran about his communications with Trump and to access a cellphone seized from Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a pro-Trump lawmaker who was communicating with Trump administration officials in the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021.
James Pearce has been with the Justice Department for several years, prosecuting bribery and corruption cases as part of the department's Public Integrity Section and then working as a trial attorney in the Criminal Division's Appellate Section. Even before Smith's appointment, he was involved in some of the cases stemming from the Jan. 6 attack, which he described in court as "an act of domestic terrorism." Before joining the Justice Department, he worked with refugees in Turkey, Egypt and Sudan, and then earned a master's degree in human rights law from the American University in Cairo, according to Duke University's Law School, where he later graduated.
Gregory Bernstein has been with the Justice Department for several years, including time prosecuting fraud cases in Maryland. More recently, he became a member of the Major Frauds Section in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS-RELATED PROBE
Jay Bratt has led the counterintelligence section in the Justice Department's National Security Division since 2018. He is a veteran Justice Department prosecutor. Axios wrote last year that he "has built his career going after convicted spies, Blackwater guards, Chinese companies and some of Trump's close associates," capitalizing on a "rare combination of litigation and leadership expertise." When the Justice Department first launched its investigation into hundreds of classified documents kept at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, Bratt not only oversaw the investigation as head of the counterintelligence section but also traveled to Florida to personally take part in elements of the case.
Julie Edelstein has served as a federal prosecutor for the past 13 years and in 2018 she became Bratt's deputy in the Justice Department's counterintelligence section. She became involved in the Trump-related documents case even before Smith was appointed special counsel. As Bratt's deputy for the past five years, she has supervised cases across the country involving espionage, mishandling of classified information, unauthorized disclosures and other counterintelligence matters. She has also made "charging recommendations with respect to all counterintelligence cases, ensuring [a] consistent national approach to counterintelligence prosecutions," according to her LinkedIn page. While still in law school in 2005 and 2006, she interned for the House Homeland Security Committee, working with the top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.
Brett Reynolds has been a trial attorney in the Justice Department's National Security Division for less than two years. Before that he served in the department's Criminal Division and in 2018 was tapped by then-attorney general Jeff Sessions to lead a team targeting certain drug cartels. "I investigated, indicted and obtained convictions against some of the most notorious international drug kingpins," including Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, Reynolds wrote on LinkedIn. Even before Smith was appointed special counsel, Reynolds was part of the Justice Department team investigating classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
As special counsel nears decision in Trump cases, who are the lawyers working with him originally appeared on abcnews.go.com