Katy Chevigny is an award-winning filmmaker and co-founder of Big Mouth Productions who is the wife of prosecutor Jack Smith.
Smith is a career prosecutor who was appointed by President Biden’s attorney general, Merrick Garland, as the special counsel who has charged former President Donald Trump in two separate indictments.
Smith’s wife is a Biden donor who helped create a documentary on Michelle Obama, federal records and her IMDb profile say. Chevigny’s mother, Bell Gale Chevigny was a professor, writer, and Soros senior justice fellow, according to Prison Legal News.
An archived version of a Harvard Law bulletin reads, “On July 23, Jack Smith and Katy Chevigny were married on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York by the Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis. Smith is serving as the chief of the public integrity section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where the couple lives.” The couple married in 2011, according to The New York Post.
Syracuse.com reported in 2022, “Smith, 54, is married to Katy Chevigny, a documentary film maker. The couple has a daughter, and has been living in the Netherlands since 2018. He is currently working from there because he is recovering from a cycling injury.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jack Smith’s Wife, Katy Chevigny, Produced a Documentary on Michelle Obama’s Life
Her IMDb profile says, “Katy Chevigny is known for Becoming (2020),” a documentary about Michelle Obama’s life.
The website for Big Mouth Productions says of Chevigny:
Katy Chevigny is an award-winning filmmaker and co-founder of Big Mouth Productions. She has produced and/or directed over a dozen documentary features. Most recently, she produced the Netflix Original documentaries BECOMING, about former First Lady Michelle Obama (dir. Nadia Hallgren) which was nominated for four Primetime Emmy® awards, and DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD (dir. Kirsten Johnson) which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award for Innovation in Non-fiction Storytelling, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and later earned a Primetime Emmy®. Katy also produced DARK MONEY (dir. Kimberly Reed), which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and CHARM CITY, which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.
Both DARK MONEY and CHARM CITY were shortlisted for the 2019 Academy Awards® – Best Documentary Feature. Katy also co-directed (with Ross Kauffman) the documentary E-TEAM, which premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, won several festival awards around the world, was nominated for two Emmy® Awards and was acquired as a Netflix Original. She also directed one of the storylines in Kartemquin Films’ documentary series HARD EARNED — winner of a 2016 Alfred I. DuPont Award.
Previously, Katie directed ELECTION DAY which premiered at SXSW and was broadcast on POV in 2008. She also co-directed (with Kirsten Jonson) DEADLINE, which premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, won the Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award, and, in an unusual acquisition, was broadcast as a primetime special on NBC. Her work has won multiple awards, been shown on networks including Netflix, PBS, NBC, HBO, Netflix, Arte/ZDF and has played in theaters and at festivals around the world. In 2018, Katy (together with Marilyn Ness and Big Mouth Productions) was honored with the Sundance Institute / Amazon Studios Producers Award.
A 2004 article for Independent Magazine that mentions Chevigny says, “Katy Chevigny and Dallas Brennan sit at desks only six feet apart in their loft-like office space at Big Mouth Productions on 14th Street in New York City.” That article reported that the women struggled to get funding for their projects. According to Entertainment DC, “Her first film was a documentary Innocent Until Proven Guilty about the D.C. Public Defenders Office.”
According to The Chicago Tribune, the movie “Deadline” which Chevigny helped create is “about former Illinois Gov. George Ryan deciding what to do with the state’s death penalty.” The film drew its weight from Ryan facing questions, including, “Is it fair to continue executing men convicted by a system shown to be profoundly flawed?” The Tribune reported.
According to Deadline, Chevigny also helped produce a film called “Dark Money,” describing it as a movie that “follows a Montana-based reporter’s investigation of one of the greatest present threats to American democracy—the influence of corrupt money on our elected officials. A century ago, secret money swamped Montana’s legislature, but citizens rose up to prohibit corporate campaign contributions.”
Deadline continued: “Today, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision — which allows unlimited, anonymous money to pour into elections nationwide — Montana is once again fighting to preserve open and honest elections.”
2. Jack Smith’s Wife Is a Joe Biden Donor
Chevigny also donated to President Biden’s campaign, according to the Federal Election Commission.
She donated $1,000 each to Biden for President and the Biden Victory Fund in September of 2020. Chevigny also made multiple small donation to the Democratic platform ActBlue and made a donation to MoveOn.org’s PAC, the FEC reecords show.
According to the Nashville Aquatic Club, Smith once said: “My wife is an amazing, award-winning documentary filmmaker.”
Her latest movie, Dark Money just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week and she was awarded the prestigious Producer’s Award for her work in documentary film, which was very cool. Her previous movie, E-Team, was nominated for an Emmy and is on Netflix. She also recently won the award for best screenplay at the Nashville Film Festival.
The article described their daughter as 5 years old. Smith told the site: “My favorite part of my day is hanging out with my wife and daughter at the end of the day. I start my day with a bike, run or swim before the family gets up as it sets my head right for the day to come.”
3. Katy Chevigny Was Previously Married to a Manhattan Doctor
Katy Gale Chevigny and “Dr. Jonathan Michael Chen were married in Manhattan yesterday by Ira R. Globerman, acting justice of State Supreme Court in the Bronx,” reads a New York Times wedding announcement in 2001.
“Ms. Chevigny and Dr. Chen, both 32, graduated cum laude from Yale, where they met,” the announcement reads.
The bride, who is keeping her name, is an independent documentary filmmaker and producer whose company in New York, Big Mouth Productions, produced ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty,’ which was shown on HBO. Her new film, ‘Journey to the West,’ about Chinese medicine as it is practiced in America, will have its premiere screening at the Asia Society in New York later in the fall.
According to the Times, the groom was a “senior fellow in cardiothoracic surgery at the Columbia Presbyterian campus of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.”
4. Katy Chevigny’s Parents Were Professors & Authors
According to her wedding announcement in the New York Times when she married Chen, Chevigny “is a daughter of Bell Gale Chevigny and Paul Chevigny of New York.”
The article notes: “Her father is a law professor at New York University, where he heads its human rights clinic. He is also the author of several books, including ”The Edge of the Knife: Police Violence in the Americas” (New Press, 1995).”
The announcement adds: “Her mother is an emeritus professor of literature at Purchase College. She edited ”Doing Time: 25 Years of Prison Writing” (Arcade Publishing, 1999).”
According to Pen America, Bell Gale Chevigny, who died in 2021, “taught literature inside prisons, and she built networks with others who were doing extraordinary things in relationship to prisoners and their individual lives long before the concept of mass incarceration became a topic of national discourse.”
5. Jack Smith is Registered to Vote as a Political Independent, Reports Say
Politico reported that Smith is “registered to vote in the U.S. as a political independent.”
Newsmax, a conservative organization, also reports that Smith is “said to be a political independent.”
Garland’s press release states:
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced today the appointment of former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor for the special court in The Hague, Jack Smith, to serve as Special Counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations. The first is the investigation, as described in court filings in the District of Columbia, into whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the Electoral College vote held on or about January 6, 2021. The second is the ongoing investigation involving classified documents and other presidential records, as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation, referenced and described in court filings submitted in a pending matter in the Southern District of Florida.
The appointment comes just days after Trump announced he was running for president in 2024. According to Politico, “Smith, a 1994 Harvard Law School graduate, led the department’s public integrity section for five years as a career official during the Obama administration before taking on a position at the U.S. attorney’s office in the Middle District of Tennessee.”
Smith released a statement promising a fair investigation:
Mike Howell, who ran The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project and was previously an attorney for the House Oversight Committee, tweeted, “Jack Smith is well known and liked in leftist circles because of his role in the IRS scandal, working with Lois Lerner to illicitly target conservative groups.”
Jack Smith’s Department of Justice biography reads as follows:
Jack Smith was appointed First Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee in February of 2015. Prior to his appointment, from 2010 to 2015 Mr. Smith served as Chief of the Public Integrity Section of the United States Department of Justice, supervising the litigation of complex public corruption cases across the country. From 2008 to 2010, Jack served as Investigation Coordinator in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Netherlands. In that capacity, he supervised sensitive investigations of foreign government officials and militia for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Mr. Smith joined the ICC from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he served for 9 years in a number of supervisory positions, including Chief of Criminal Litigation and Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. As Chief of Criminal Litigation, Mr. Smith supervised approximately 100 criminal prosecutors across a range of program areas, such as public corruption, violent crime and gangs, and white collar and complex financial fraud. Before becoming an Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Smith served for five years as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office.
Mr. Smith is the recipient of the Director’s Award from the Department of Justice, the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service, the Federal Bar Association’s Younger Federal Attorney Award, the Eastern District Association’s Charles Rose Award and the Henry L. Stimson Medal by New York County Bar Association. Mr. Smith is a cum graduate of Harvard Law School and a summa cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta.
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