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DOJ Special Counsel Subpoenas Brad Raffensperger for Communications With Trump

Raffensperger has cooperated with other investigations examining Trump’s attempts to overturn the election.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger speaks at a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol on November 11, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Newly appointed Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Jack Smith has sent a grand jury subpoena to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) requesting all of his office’s communications relating to efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state.

The subpoena, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, commands the Georgia official to appear before a grand jury on December 29 and to bring records of his communications with Trump, his campaign officials and other members of his inner circle. A letter accompanying the subpoena states that Raffensberger will also be in compliance with the order if he simply sends the evidence to the special counsel’s office by mail.

“Pursuant to a criminal investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice, it is required that you furnish the requested records as described in the attached subpoena,” the letter says.

A source close to Raffensperger told NBC News that he is “weighing options” on how to respond. Raffensperger has cooperated with similar requests, and has supplied documents and testified before the January 6 committee when ordered to do so by a subpoena in the past. Raffensperger is also reportedly cooperating with a state investigation into Trump’s election interference efforts.

The documents Raffensperger provides to Smith will likely include records of direct communications with Trump. In an infamous conversation between him and the former president that was published in early January 2021, Trump ordered Raffensperger to “find” him enough votes to overturn President Joe Biden’s election win in Georgia, threatening him with legal repercussions if he didn’t comply.

The subpoena to Raffensperger further confirms that the DOJ inquiry into the Capitol attack and the effort to overturn the 2020 election is extending beyond Washington D.C. Smith recently sent similar subpoenas to elections officials in four other states — Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona — and it’s possible that similar orders were also sent to Nevada.

Smith’s actions, taken just weeks after his appointment as special counsel, signal to legal experts that indictments against Trump and others in his inner circle may be forthcoming — perhaps within a month’s time, former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said over the weekend.

Smith has also recruited a number of “seasoned prosecutors,” Bharara noted on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program on Sunday. “I don’t think they would’ve left their former positions, both in government and private practice, unless there was a serious possibility that the Justice Department was on a path to charge,” Bharara said.

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