Justice Department issues more subpoenas in Trump voter survey

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The Justice Department has stepped up its criminal investigation into a plan by President Donald J. Trump and his allies to create lists of so-called fake voters in an effort to keep Mr. Trump in power in the 2020 election, as federal agents delivered a grand jury. subpoenas on Wednesday to at least four people linked to the plan.

One of those who received a subpoena, according to two people familiar with the matter, was Brad Carver, a lawyer and Republican Party official from Georgia who claimed to be one of Mr Trump’s voters in the state, which was won by Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Another recipient of the subpoena was Thomas Lane, an official who worked for Mr. Trump’s campaign in Arizona and New Mexico, the people said.

A third person, Sean Flynn, a Trump campaign aide in Michigan, also received a subpoena, according to people familiar with the matter.

A fourth subpoena has been issued to David Shafer, the chairman of the Republican Party of Georgia, who also served as a fake voter for Mr Trump.

Mr. Shafer’s attorney declined to comment. None of the other three men could be reached for comment on the subpoenas.

The issuance of new subpoenas was reported earlier by the Washington Post.

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The bogus election plan is at the center of one of two known parts of the Justice Department’s grand jury investigation into Mr. Trump’s multiple and intertwined attempts to overturn the election. The other focused on a wide range of political organizers, White House aides and members of Congress variously linked to Mr. Trump’s incendiary speech near the White House that directly preceded the taking of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

This latest round of activity in the Justice Department investigation came amid high-profile House committee hearings on Jan. 6 into Mr. Trump’s efforts to reverse the election result.

It also comes less than a month after a previous round of grand jury subpoenas revealed prosecutors were seeking information about any role a group of pro-Trump lawyers may have played in the effort of fake voters. These lawyers included Rudolph W. Giuliani, John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn, Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro, James Troupis and Justin Clark, although it is unclear what role, if any, each of them might have played in the plan.

The subpoenas, issued by a grand jury sitting in Washington, also sought records and information on other pro-Trump figures like Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York police commissioner and longtime ally. date of Mr. Giuliani.

Many of the attorneys named in the subpoenas were also mentioned during Tuesday’s House Select Committee open hearing exploring Mr. Trump’s extensive lobbying campaign to persuade state officials to help him stay. active.

At the hearing, the committee for the first time directly connected Mr. Trump to the plan, featuring a taped deposition from Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, in which she recounted how Mr. Trump called her and had put Mr Eastman on the phone ‘to talk about how important it is for the RNC to help the campaign bring together these contingent voters’.

The first subpoenas in the bogus election investigation were largely sent to people in key swing states who almost took part in the plan but ultimately didn’t for various reasons. This new round of subpoenas appears to be the first time Trump campaign officials have become involved in the investigation, marking a small but potentially significant step closer to Mr. Trump himself.

The plan to create pro-Trump voters in states won by Mr. Biden was among the first and largest of several plots by Mr. Trump and his allies to overturn the election results. It involved attorneys, state officials, White House and campaign aides, and members of Congress.

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The plan was crafted as Mr. Trump and his allies sought to promote baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in key swing states and persuade state officials to rescind their certification of Mr. Biden’s victory. . It aimed to put the pro-Trump slates in place as Vice President Mike Pence oversaw the official certification of electoral votes during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

Mr. Trump and others close to him worked tirelessly in the weeks leading up to January 6 to persuade Mr. Pence to either count the pro-Trump voters and give Mr. Trump an Electoral College victory, or to declare that the election was uncertain because lists of competing voters had been received in several states.

The idea was to give Mr. Trump more time to pursue his baseless fraud allegations or potentially send the election to the House of Representatives, where each state delegation would get a single vote. Because more delegations were controlled by Republicans than by Democrats, Mr. Trump might have won.

Adam Goldman and Thrush Glenn contributed report.

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