DOJ Attorney Playing Key Role in Jack Smith’s Prosecution of Trump Worked on Case That Put Pro-Life Activist in Jail

Molly Gaston
by Katelynn Richardson


One of the prosecutors helping special counsel Jack Smith prosecute former President Donald Trump for alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election also worked on a high-profile case against a pro-life activist.

Molly Gaston (pictured above), a prosecutor who spent years in the District of Columbia U.S. Attorney’s Office and is now playing a key role on Smith’s team, worked on the early stages of the prosecution of pro-life activist Lauren Handy. Handy had been in jail since August when she, along with four co-defendants, were found guilty of violating the Freedom of Access To Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act for blocking access to a Washington, D.C., abortion clinic in 2020.

Gaston’s name appears on multiple early filings in the case. She is listed as the author of a March 2022 motion to seal the indictments and proceedings, which argued that public disclosure would “compromise the integrity of the investigation by permitting alleged conspirators to flee or destroy evidence.”

Her name also appears on an April 2022 motion for a protective order, along with another July 2022 filing.

“This conspiracy against rights statute is just a brutal weapon in the hands of a DOJ that is really unfettered by any principles—I suppose other than their beholdenness to the abortion lobby,” Alexandra Snyder, CEO of Life Legal Defense Foundation, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “So if somebody is power hungry, this is the statute they’re going to use because, again, it’s so vague it can be applied to just about anything.”

Handy’s lawyer said in court that her motive for blocking the Washington Surgi-Clinic stemmed from viewing a 2013 undercover video published by the pro-life group Live Action, where the clinic’s doctor, Cesare Santangelo, told a woman he “would not help” a baby born alive after an attempted abortion. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a Clinton appointee, declined to allow the video to be played in court, calling it “propaganda,” according to WUSA9.

Live Action President Lila Rose called the trial “a sham with a biased pro-abortion judge who has made a mockery of our justice system” and said “the Biden DoJ has acted capriciously and illegitimately” in an August statement.

Gaston is known for her work on multiple cases against high-profile individuals, including the investigation of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe — whom she declined to prosecute for allegedly making misleading statements about his role in leaking information to the media — and the prosecution of Steve Bannon on contempt of Congress charges after he defied a subpoena from the Jan. 6 select committee, according to The Washington Post.

In 2022, she worked on the prosecution of former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro on contempt of Congress charges, according to court filings.

Gaston has also been involved in prosecuting multiple cases involving Jan. 6 defendants.

She worked on the case of former West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans, who was sentenced to three months in prison after he live streamed a video of himself entering the Capitol, according to NBC News. Gaston likewise worked on prosecution of former Capitol Police officer Michael Angelo Riley, who was sentenced to two years on probation for messaging a Capitol rioter on Facebook to take down posts of him inside the building and then deleting the messages, according to Roll Call.

Gaston donated over $3,000 to Democrats between 2006 and 2012.

She donated $350 to former President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2012, according to Federal Election Commission data. She also donated $500 to former Democratic New Jersey Rep. Rush Holt’s Senate campaign in 2013 and $1,500 to his House campaign in 2010.

She made a $250 donation to Democratic Sen. John Edwards presidential campaign in 2007 and $500 to former Democratic Virginia Sen. James Webb’s campaign in 2006, per FEC data.

From 2005 to 2007, she worked as a Democratic staffer of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, according to Legistorm.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment.

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Katelynn Richardson is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. 





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