Special counsel sends Trump subpoena to Ga. secretary of state Raffensperger

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Special Counsel Jack Smith has sent a grand jury subpoena to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, bringing the number of battlefield states in 2020 to five where state or local election officials are known to have received such requests for all communications with Trump, his campaign, and a long list of aides and allies.

State and local officials in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have received similar subpoenas — all, like Georgia, are central to President Donald Trump’s failed plan to stay in power after the 2020 election. State and local officials in Nevada, the other disputed 2020 battleground, did not respond or declined to say whether they had heard from the Justice Department.

Raffensperger rose to prominence following a January 2, 2021, phone call to Trump in which the president urged him to “find” enough votes to reverse his defeat in Georgia.

In a phone call on Jan. 2, President Trump insisted he win the state and threatened vague legal ramifications. Here are excerpts from the call. (Video: Obtained by The Washington Post)

The requests for data arrived in Milwaukee and Dane County, Wis.; Maricopa County, Arizona; and Wayne County, Michigan, for the first few days of December. Since then, secretaries of state in Arizona and Michigan have received similar requests, as has Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, home of Pittsburgh. Officials in Philadelphia and at the Pennsylvania Department of State declined to comment. The Associated Press was the first to report the Allegheny subpoena.

Together, they are among the first known subpoenas to have been issued since the Smith name last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee Trump-related aspects of the investigation into the January 6, 2021 Capitol bombing, as well as the criminal investigation into Trump’s possible mishandling of classified documents at his Florida home and private club .

“I can confirm that my office received a subpoena this morning in connection with the Special Counsel’s investigation,” Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said last week. “The Justice Department has asked us not to disclose the contents of the subpoena to avoid harm to the investigation, and we will honor that request.”

A Raffensperger spokeswoman declined to comment on the subpoena, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

Georgia’s subpoena, dated Dec. 9, adds to evidence that the Justice Department is expanding its investigation into the circumstances leading up to the Capitol attack to include local and state election officials and their potential interactions with the former president and his representatives in connection with the 2020 election .

The status of major investigations involving Donald Trump

The nearly identical requests seek communication with Trump, in addition to employees, agents and attorneys for his campaign.

The Justice Department’s long-running Jan. 6 investigation has moved beyond the large pool of people directly participating in the bloody riots at the US Capitol to focus on other aspects of the effort to overturn the election results. Prosecutors are investigating the fundraising, organization and rhetoric leading up to the riot, looking at failed attempts to empower alternate voters. They’ve been collecting subpoenas this spring and summer for communications between Trump’s inner circle and numerous campaign officials, potential voters, and others.

After Trump stated last month that he would seek the White House again in 2024, Garland appointed Smith, a longtime federal prosecutor who once headed the Justice Department’s public corruption division, to oversee elements of the Jan. 6 investigation. which may be related to the former president.

On November 18, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel to oversee investigations related to former President Donald Trump. (Video: The Washington Post)

Smith also oversees the Mar-a-Lago criminal investigation, which began this spring after months of disagreement between Trump and the National Archives and Records Administration over boxes of documents the former White House president sent to Mar-a-Lago. followed. , his residence and private club in Florida.

Previous subpoenas, in Arizona and other battlefield states targeted by Trump, have been issued to key Republican players seen as allies in his pressure campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Maricopa County, the sprawling Arizona jurisdiction where Phoenix and more than half of the state’s voters live, was one of the places exposed to that pressure.

Communications requested include those with Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien and other advisers, such as Boris Epshteyn. The attorneys identified include Trump campaign attorneys Justin Clark and Matthew Morgan, as well as those serving in other capacities such as John Eastman, Rudolph Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Cleta Mitchell.

The subpoenas, while sent by Smith, were also signed by assistant attorney Matt Burke.

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez in Phoenix contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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