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Special Counsel Jack Smith Subpoenas Officials in Key 2020 Election States in Trump Probe

U.S. News & World Report 12/6/2022 Claire Hansen
FILE - Former President Donald Trump announces a third run for president as he speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 15, 2022. Jurors in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud deliberated for a second day Tuesday, Dec. 6, weighing charges that Trump’s company helped executives dodge personal income taxes on perks such as Manhattan apartments and luxury cars. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File) © (Rebecca Blackwell/AP-File) FILE - Former President Donald Trump announces a third run for president as he speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 15, 2022. Jurors in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud deliberated for a second day Tuesday, Dec. 6, weighing charges that Trump’s company helped executives dodge personal income taxes on perks such as Manhattan apartments and luxury cars. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed officials in four key battleground states for all communications with former President Donald Trump, his campaign and a list of others embroiled in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Smith, who was appointed last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland to take over investigations into Trump’s handling of classified documents and the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, asked officials from a handful of counties in Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and Pennsylvania for their communications – a clear sign that Smith is looking into the efforts to overturn the results of the election in the lead-up to the storming of the Capitol, including potentially the use of fake electors in those states.

The subpoenas are among the first known to be issued by Smith since he took over the investigation. They were first reported by The Washington Post. The Pennsylvania subpoena was reported by the Associated Press.

At least three of the subpoenas are dated Nov. 22 – just days after Smith’s appointment. They indicate that the investigation is still firmly in the fact-finding stage.

The Justice Department has for months been investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, which was catalyzed by election fraud lies promoted by Trump and his allies, and which Democrats say was aimed at stopping the certification of the Electoral College vote.

That has happened in tandem with a House committee probe into the event, which also on Tuesday announced that it would make criminal referrals to the Justice Department. Those referrals do not mean the Justice Department would be obligated to act.

Smith is also now heading the probe into Trump’s handling of classified documents after he left office, as well as efforts to obstruct that investigation.

In August, FBI agents took more than 13,000 documents from Trump’s residence at the Florida resort, of which 103 were classified and 18 were labeled top secret, according to court filings. Some of those documents reportedly included deeply sensitive intelligence on China and information on Iran’s missile program.

The National Archives and Records Administration had previously noticed the cache of missing documents and asked Trump to return them. Two previous caches of documents returned from Trump’s possession earlier this year contained more than 220 classified documents in total.

The Justice Department recently won a decisive victory in federal court vacating a previous order that installed a third-party special master to review and potentially shield from access documents collected as part of the execution of the search warrant.

Copyright 2022 U.S. News & World Report

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