Virginia Dems Furious Over Youngkin’s Pardon Of Scott Smith

Glenn Youngkin

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has granted a pardon to Scott Smith, a father embroiled in a contentious legal battle following claims that his daughter was assaulted in school. The decision has sparked criticism from Virginia Democrats and Loudoun County prosecutor Buta Biberaj, who has received support from philanthropist George Soros in the past.

Biberaj criticized the governor’s decision, labeling it as an “unprecedented interference in an ongoing legal matter.” She further accused Youngkin of prioritizing political optics over justice. Meanwhile, Scott Surovell, the vice chairman of the Democrat Senate Caucus, suggested that the pardon was a strategic move by Youngkin to bolster his political aspirations, accusing him of forsaking the “law and order” principle.

The incident that led to Smith’s arrest occurred during a heated exchange with activist Jackie Schworm. Smith was confronted by police officers after they perceived his body language as potentially aggressive. The confrontation escalated, resulting in Smith being detained, during which he exclaimed, “I can’t breathe.”

While the charge of resisting arrest was later dismissed, Smith was still facing prosecution for the verbal altercation. Governor Youngkin’s pardon highlighted that Smith had not committed any criminal act and raised concerns about the motives behind the prosecution.

State Delegate Candi Mundon King, representing Stafford and Prince William Counties, questioned Youngkin’s decision on social media, hinting at a perceived inconsistency in his support for law enforcement.

Biberaj, known for her stance against “overincarceration” and her selective approach to prosecuting misdemeanors, took a personal interest in Smith’s case, pushing for a jail sentence. Despite the misdemeanor nature of the case, Smith was denied a jury trial and was subsequently convicted. However, on appeal, a judge not only dismissed the resisting arrest charge but also removed Biberaj from the case, citing potential conflicts of interest.

The legal battle against Smith persisted, with preparations underway for a second trial on charges of disorderly conduct. A retired judge from Fairfax County was appointed to the case, interpreting Virginia’s disorderly conduct statute in a manner that suggested Smith’s verbal altercation with Schworm could potentially incite violence. This interpretation raised eyebrows, as it implied that Schworm could be equally culpable under the same logic.