The Department of Justice (DOJ) is stepping up its efforts to investigate attempts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to usurp the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to reporting from CNN.
The department’s investigators are examining “nearly every aspect of former President Donald Trump’s efforts” to overturn the race that he lost to President Joe Biden, the news agency reported this week. CNN bases its analysis on recent actions by investigators as well as the content of subpoenas served to Trump’s allies that it was able to access.
The DOJ’s January 6 investigation of Trump includes his campaign’s plot to use fake electors to alter the outcome of the Electoral College, as well as the former president’s general pushing of baseless claims of election fraud, which he used to help fundraise for his own Save America PAC after his legitimate loss.
Just this week, it was reported that around 40 subpoenas had been sent to Trump’s former aides, demanding information relating to their communications after Trump’s electoral defeat, as well as after he left the White House. Investigators are also looking at communications and expenditures regarding his “Stop the Steal” campaign rally on January 6, 2021, which preceded the mob of Trump loyalists’ attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
It’s also been reported recently that the DOJ has opened a grand jury inquiry into the Save America PAC, over its raising of funds from donors using false claims of election fraud with the promise that the money raised would go to Trump’s legal challenges.
The latest actions by the DOJ, according to CNN, exemplify a more aggressive approach than seen so far in its investigations into the attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election by Trump and his allies.
The stepping up of the January 6 investigation is unrelated to a separate Trump inquiry involving his improper removal of government documents, including highly classified material, from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, following his departure from office.
The subpoenas that the news agency examined make demands to Trump’s allies for a number of items, including documents relating to the raising of funds for challenging the election’s outcome, as well as communications records of former aides dating back to the fall of 2020. The DOJ investigation also appears to be going after Trump specifically, trying to determine to what extent he was involved in the plots to undo the rightful election result.
Investigators are “now encompassing individuals closer and closer to the President to learn more and more about what the President knew and when he knew it,” David Laufman, a former federal prosecutor, said on CNN Monday night.
“The DOJ investigation into Trump is going big — they are probing a wide-ranging conspiracy involving fraudulent fundraising, fraudulent electors, and fraudulent justifications for trying to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power, as they should,” tweeted Miles Taylor, a former Homeland Security official under Trump who wrote the famed 2018 “Anonymous” op-ed critical of the then-president.
Others are calling on the DOJ to do more — including charging Trump with crimes relating to the Capitol attack, given that it has long appeared that there is enough evidence to do so.
“We are now 616 days since Jan 6,” political commentator Dean Obeidallah said on Twitter. “The DOJ may one day indict Donald Trump but every day they fail to charge him makes our nation less safe.”