Mr Smith is leading the charge in prosecuting Mr Trump both for his alleged retention and attempts to hide sensitive government documents at his Mar-a-Lago home after his presidency, and for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
Mr Higgins issued the ominous warning during an appearance on far-right media outlet Newsmax on Wednesday. He painted a recent court filing Mr Smith made to obtain a list of accounts that liked or retweeted Mr Trump's Twitter account as a back-door tactic for spying on regular Americans.
“So, let me say, regarding Jack Smith and his request for another list of American citizens under some alleged legitimate investigative effort,” Mr Higgins said. “I consider it a badge of honor to be on another one of Jack Smith’s lists. So, I’ll just say that his days are numbered and American patriots are not gonna stand idly by, good sir, and allow our republic to dissolve. We are prepared to fight legally and peacefully and within the parameters of the Constitution with every ounce of our might and focus.”
It's unclear why Mr Higgins used the phrase "days are numbered" — which typically means a reckoning of some sort is imminent — and insinuated that "patriots" were going to take action only to later insist that they would "fight legally and peacefully."
Mr Smith is not an elected official. It is unclear what "legal and peaceful" actions Americans could take that would remove him from his position.
Mr Higgins has been accused of being violent and threatening both as an elected official and during his time as a police officer before taking office.
Earlier this year, Mr Higgins grabbed and shoved a protester who was demonstrating near an outdoor press conference where Congresswoman Lauren Boebert was speaking. Mr Higgins insisted at the time that the protester was 103M — a police code for a mentally disturbed individual — and that the demonstrator’s actions were "in violation of the law."
No charges were brought against the protester.
Mr Higgins resigned from his police department in 2007 while he was being investigated for alleged misconduct, including using excessive force against a Black man he encountered while doing his job, according to NOLA.com.
Mr Higgins worked as a public information officer at his next police job, where he shared viral videos of himself in uniform threatening to exact extrajudicial punishments against alleged criminals as part of the department’s “Crime Stoppers” series. He resigned from that post as well after he disagreed with the sheriff over the tone of his videos, Evangeline Today reported.
In February, he threatened to arrest Twitter employees over their alleged involvement in suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, which he likened to election interference, according to Mediaite.
Then in June, he included what appeared to be a coded call for an insurrection in one of his tweets after one of Mr Trump's indictments.
"Buckle up. 1/50k know your bridges. Rock steady clam. That is all," Mr Higgins tweeted.
Jeff Sharlet, an expert on right-wing militias and a bestselling author on the subject, explained that the message was essentially a call for war.
“Prepare for war. ‘Know your bridges’ is militia speak for closing them down. County level insurrection,” Mr Sharlet wrote in response to the tweet. He noted that "buckle up" was a way of saying "prepare for war."
Mr Higgins immediately walked his statement back by suggesting the FBI was trying to provoke conservatives into another Capitol riot-level insurrection attempt for the purposes of rounding them up and arresting them. He warned them not to fall for their "trap" despite seemingly calling for the insurrection, Mediaite reports.
He insisted on social media that his fans "do NOT trip the wire [the DOJ/FBI] has laid for you. Maintain your family. Live your life. Know your bridges. Hold".
His ire for the FBI was made apparent earlier this month when he offered another threat to the agency's director, Christopher Wray.
"Your day is coming," he said during a clash at a congressional hearing.
The Independent has reached out to the congressman for comment.