The Washington Post and The New York Times are both reporting that federal agents investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack have served multiple subpoenas as part of an expanding probe of how Trump supporters tried to use fake electors to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
The Washington Post reported:
Agents conducted court-authorized law enforcement activity Wednesday morning at different locations, FBI officials confirmed to The Washington Post. One was the home of Brad Carver, a Georgia lawyer who allegedly signed a document claiming to be a Trump elector. The other was the Virginia home of Thomas Lane, who worked on the Trump campaign’s efforts in Arizona and New Mexico. The FBI officials did not identify the people associated with those addresses, but public records list each of the locations as the home addresses of the men.
Among those who received a subpoena Wednesday was David Shafer, the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, who served as a Trump elector in that state, people familiar with the investigation said. Shafer’s lawyer declined to comment.
Separately, at least some of the would-be Trump electors in Michigan received subpoenas, according to a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. But it was not immediately clear whether that activity was related to a federal probe or a state-level criminal inquiry.
At Tuesday’s public hearing, the House Jan. 6 select committee Republican state officials from Georgia and Arizona witnesses recounted how they were pressured to support Donald Trump’s efforts to undo Biden’s electoral victory by using slates of fake Trump electors in swing states won by the Democrat.
Testimony presented at the hearing showed that Trump and others close to him in the run-up to Jan. 6 pressured Vice President Mike Pence to either count the pro-Trump electors and hand Trump a victory in the Electoral College or to declare that the election results were uncertain because competing slates of electors had been received from several states.
The hearing raised the possibility that the investigation of the fake elector plot could go up the ladder to Trump himself.
The Times wrote:
At the hearing, the committee for the first time directly connected Mr. Trump to the plan, introducing a recorded deposition from Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, in which she recounted how Mr. Trump called her and put Mr. Eastman on the phone “to talk about the importance of the R.N.C. helping the campaign gather these contingent electors.”
The Post also reported that there has been an uptick in the number of violent threats against members of the House Jan. 6 select committee. Three people involved in the Jan. 6 probe told the Post that all the committee members are likely to receive a security detail.
The Post said the investigation into the fake electors scheme previously had primarily involved speaking to people in Republican circles who knew of the plan and objected to it. The most recent subpoenas indicated that the Justice Department was moving to question at least some people who allegedly agreed to take part in the fake elector plot.
The earlier round of subpoenas sought any election-related communications with Trump advisers linked to the fake elector plot, including lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Jenna Ellis.
The Post reported:
One would-be Trump elector in Georgia, Patrick Gartland, had been appointed to the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration and believed that post meant serving as an elector would have created a conflict of interest for him. Still, two FBI agents recently came to his home with a subpoena and asked whether he had any contact with Trump advisers around the time of the November election. “They wanted to know if I had talked to Giuliani,” Gartland said.
The New York Times wrote that the latest subpoenas indicate that the DOJ is expanding the fake elector probe:
The first subpoenas in the fake elector inquiry were largely sent to people in key swing states who almost took part in the plan but eventually did not for various reasons. This new round of subpoenas appears to be the first time that Trump campaign officials were brought into the investigation, marking a small but potentially significant step closer to Mr. Trump himself.