The Washington Post and New York Times still have their reporting behind a pay wall this morning, but here is a summary from Steve Benen. New subpoenas signal intensifying Justice Dept. probe into Jan. 6:
The number of entities investigating Team Trump’s fake elector scheme has grown over time. The list includes the National Archives, state attorneys general [but NOT here in Arizona], as well as the Jan. 6 committee.
But looming overhead is the Justice Department’s investigation, which has unfolded relatively quietly over the course of several months, but which is clearly the most serious probe, with the potential of being highly consequential for those involved.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco confirmed months ago that the Justice Department is “looking at” the matter, as part of an “ongoing” investigation. According to a New York Times report from last month, federal investigators have “stepped up” their criminal probe of the fake electors’ gambit. The Washington Post reported earlier this month, meanwhile, that the Justice Department “has sent [grand jury] subpoenas and sought interviews with some of the 15 people around the country who were slated to be Trump electors but were replaced on the day of the electoral college vote.”
It was against this backdrop that The Post advanced the story further, reporting that federal agents yesterday “dropped subpoenas on people in multiple locations,” widening the scrutiny of the plot.
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.
According to The Post’s reporting, which has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, David Shafer, the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, who served as a Trump elector in that state, also received a subpoena.
Around the same time, The New York Times added that Shawn Flynn, a Trump campaign aide in Michigan, also received a federal subpoena from the Justice Department, while the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas reported that FBI agents served a search warrant on Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald, also as part of the fake elector scheme.
Has Arizona Republican Party Chair “Chemtrails” Kelli Ward been served with a grand jury subpoena yet, or is she next on the FBI’s list? Arizona Republicans were the most blatant about it, posting a video of their crime oline.
CONFIRMED: Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward and her husband Michael — who were among the false pro-Trump electors — have received grand jury subpoenas, according to a source familiar with the matter.https://t.co/nxKsd2fl6N
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 23, 2022
The Wards weren't just part of the false-elector effort, though. They also signed onto a Dec. 2020 lawsuit — led by Rep. Louie Gohmert — against then-VP Mike Pence in an effort to get a ruling freeing Pence to choose the winner of the election.https://t.co/nxKsd2fl6N
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 23, 2022
The same report from KLAS in Nevada, which also has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, added that James DeGraffenreid, another top official in the state GOP, was confronted with a federal search warrant yesterday. DeGraffenreid was one of the Republicans who signed his name to the forged election materials.
Here are the two groups of fake GQP electors in Arizona who need to be seved with a grand jury subpoena, or indicted for impersonating presidential electors and signing forged documents. Fake Arizona Republican Electors Potentially Face Federal Charges And Prison Time.
To be sure, it’s likely that these names are not widely familiar to a national audience. But let’s not miss the forest for the trees: For months, more than a few political observers have wondered aloud whether the Justice Department is fully engaged in investigating alleged crimes surrounding the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
But when federal law enforcement agents conduct this much “court-authorized law enforcement activity,” all on the same day, as part of the same investigation, it’s evidence of an intensifying investigation.
Given what we’re learning about those who were responsible for concocting the fake electors scheme, this isn’t encouraging news for them.
Ths is a developing story, so stay tuned for later updates.