Up until recently there were no leaks out of the DOJ about any grand jury proceedings into the January 6 insurrection. If the Coup Plotters were being subpoenaed in front of a grand jury, we should expect to see them or their lawyers leaking to Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal editorial page or going on FOX News to whine about it. This wasn’t happening. There were not any reports of motions to quash a grand jury subpoena. These “tea leaves” of a grand jury investigation just haven’t existed.
Now, finally, there are some leaks out of the DOJ about a grand jury proceeding into the January 6 insurrection. The Coup Plotters themselves have not been subpoenaed (yet), but White House aides who had access to the conspirators and would have knowledge of their coup plot have been subpoeaned by a grand jury. And instead of filing motions to quash the grand jury subpoena, the leaks out of the DOJ have been that these witnesses are cooperating and have testifed before the grand jury.
As January 6 Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney indicated at the last hearing, “the dam is finally breaking” and withnesses are coming forward.
ABC News was first to report that Marc Short, the former chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, appeared before a federal grand jury investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Former Pence chief of staff appeared before grand jury probing Jan. 6:
Marc Short, in an interview Monday night with ABC News’ Linsey Davis, said he was subpoenaed by a grand jury and complied with the subpoena, adding he “really can’t comment further than that” upon the advice of his legal counsel.
ABC News first reported early Monday that Short had appeared last week before the grand jury.
Short was caught by an ABC News camera departing D.C. District Court on Friday alongside his attorney, Emmet Flood.
Short is the highest-ranking Trump White House official known to have appeared before the grand jury.
“I think that having the Capitol ransacked the way that it was, I think did present liability and danger,” he told Davis in the interview. “And I think the Secret Service did a phenomenal job that day. I think that the bigger risk and despite the way perhaps it was characterized in the hearings last week, candidly, is that if the mob had gotten closer to the vice president, I do think there would have been a massacre in the Capitol that day.”
Pence’s former chief counsel, Greg Jacob, also testified before the grand jury, sources familiar with his appearance told ABC News.
Jacob testified publicly during a recent public hearing of the Jan. 6 committee.
The New York Times confirms, Top Pence Aides Testify to Grand Jury in Jan. 6 Investigation:
Two top aides to former Vice President Mike Pence testified last week to a federal grand jury in Washington investigating the events surrounding the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the highest-ranking officials of the Trump administration so far known to have cooperated with the Justice Department’s widening inquiry into the events leading up to the assault.
The appearances before the grand jury of the men — Marc Short, who was Mr. Pence’s chief of staff, and Greg Jacob, who was his counsel — were the latest indication that the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the events surrounding and preceding the riot is intensifying after weeks of growing questions about the urgency the department has put on examining former President Donald J. Trump’s potential criminal liability.
The testimony of the two Pence aides marked the first time it has become publicly known that figures with firsthand knowledge of what took place inside the White House in the tumultuous days before the attack have cooperated with federal prosecutors.
Both Mr. Short and Mr. Jacob played important roles in describing to a House select committee conducting a parallel investigation of the Capitol attack how Mr. Trump, working with allies like the lawyer John Eastman, mounted a campaign to pressure Mr. Pence into disrupting the normal counting of Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2021, as part of an effort to keep Mr. Trump in office.
[It] remains unclear precisely what Mr. Short and Mr. Jacob told the grand jury or what questions prosecutors may have asked them. But both previously gave recorded and transcribed interviews to the House committee, and Mr. Jacob served as a live witness at one of the panel’s public hearings that focused on the effort to strong-arm Mr. Pence.
Mr. Short and Mr. Jacob were present in the Oval Office for a meeting on Jan. 4, 2021, at which Mr. Trump had Mr. Eastman try to persuade Mr. Pence that he could delay or block congressional certification of Mr. Trump’s Electoral College defeat.
Mr. Eastman’s plan relied on Mr. Pence being willing to accept, as he presided over a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, that there were disputes over the validity of electors whose votes for Joseph R. Biden Jr. had already been certified by the states — a baseless assertion that had been promoted by a number of Trump allies in the previous weeks as a last-ditch way to help keep Mr. Trump in office.
[Mr.] Short also provided the House committee with testimony that highlighted the sense of threat that built from Mr. Trump’s efforts to derail the congressional proceedings on Jan. 6.
He told the House committee how he had informed Mr. Pence’s lead Secret Service agent on Jan. 5, 2021, that Mr. Trump was about to publicly turn on Mr. Pence over his refusal to go along with the electors plan, potentially placing a target on his former boss’s back. On Jan. 6, some members of the mob of Trump supporters that attacked the Capitol chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” Mr. Trump reacted approvingly to the chants, effectively saying that Mr. Pence deserved it, according to testimony collected by the House committee.
Prosecutors have also issued grand jury subpoenas to several people connected to the scheme to create false slates of electors saying that Mr. Trump won the 2020 election in swing states that were actually won by Mr. Biden. Those who have received the subpoenas have largely been state lawmakers or Republican officials, many of whom put their names on documents attesting to the fact that they were electors for Mr. Trump.
The Washington Post adds, Arizona fake-electors subpoenas show breadth of DOJ Jan. 6 probe:
Grand jury subpoenas issued last month to two Arizona state lawmakers show the breadth of the criminal investigation by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington into efforts by supporters of Donald Trump to use “false electors” to try to undo Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Copies of two subpoenas issued to Republican state senators from Arizona were released Monday via a public-records request, confirming what has been previously reported about the June demands for records related “to the signing or mailing of any document purporting to be a Certificate certifying Elector votes in favor of Donald J. Trump and/or Michael R. Pence.”
The subpoenas issued to Karen Fann, president of the Arizona Senate, Karen-Fann subpoena, and Sen. Kelly Townsend, Kelly Townsend subpoena, also seek communications “relating to any effort, plan, or attempt to serve as an Elector” in favor of the then-president and then-vice president.
The documents released Monday cast a wide net for any communications that Fann and Townsend may have had with any member of the executive or legislative branch of the federal government; any representative or agent of Trump or his campaign; or Trump boosters Jenna Ellis, Bernard Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, Boris Epshteyn, James Troupis, Joe DiGenova, John Eastman, Joshua Findlay, Justin Clark, Kenneth Chesebro, Mike Roman or Victoria Toensing.
The subpoenas are just one part of a significant escalation and expansion of the Justice Department’s criminal probe of the events of and leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters seeking to overturn the election results. Around the same time in mid-June, federal agents fanned out in multiple states to serve subpoenas, execute search warrants and interview potential witnesses as part of the investigation into the electors scheme.
[In] the weeks after the 2020 election, Fann huddled with Arizona state lawmakers and Maricopa County officials to try to broker a deal to conduct a joint audit by an accredited firm of the county’s election results.
On Dec. 1, 2020, she attended a meeting with Giuliani and Ellis, both of whom worked as attorneys for Trump, as well as Kerik, state Republican lawmakers and retired Col. Phil Waldron. Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) also attended the meeting and later said Giuliani made various claims about election fraud that the former New York mayor could not back up.
“My recollection, he said, ‘We’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence,’ ” Bowers told the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.
In the end, the GOP Senate that Fann presided over launched its own “sham fraudit” of 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County for the presidential and U.S. Senate race, using a Florida-based firm [Cyber Ninjas] with no experience in auditing elections. The review affirmed Biden’s win.
In late 2020, Townsend, as a state representative, sought to prevent the certification of Arizona’s electoral votes. On Dec. 31, she wrote a letter to Pence asking the vice president “to refrain from accepting the Biden electors” until state lawmakers could adequately investigate claims of voter fraud. It is unclear if Pence received the letter.
“We believe it is impossible to conclusively declare a winner in Arizona and pray that you would refrain from counting the electoral votes from our state, and consider the alternate slate should we be able to establish validity to the various claims of election fraud on such a scale that would change the outcome,” said the letter, obtained by the watchdog group American Oversight.
The subpoenas to Fann and Townsend seek all communications or documents exchanged with those who served as Arizona’s alternate electors, as well as communications with state Rep. Mark Finchem, a vocal “Stop the Steal” proponent now vying for the Republican nomination for secretary of state.
Finchem helped organize a Nov. 30, 2020, meeting in downtown Phoenix attended by Giuliani, Ellis, GOP congressmen, state lawmakers and others, where speakers claimed widespread fraud in the election. Finchem was [at the Capitol] on Jan. 6.
The House committee probing the events of that day issued a subpoena to Finchem in February seeking information about his activities after the election, including comments he made about delivering “an evidence book and letter to Vice President Pence showing key evidence of fraud” in the election “and asking him to consider postponing the award of electors.”
The subpoenas to Fann and Townsend also seek any communications they had with a host of Arizona GOP figures who either helped assemble a list of Trump-backing electors or were on a list of such electors.
[On] Monday, Townsend said she had one or two phone calls with Giuliani in December 2020 but no longer has the phone on which those calls were made. She said she has described the nature of the calls to the FBI.
“They asked me not to talk about it because of the investigation,” Townsend told The Washington Post in an interview. She said it was her impression that FBI agents were seeking information about one of Trump’s attorneys.
The subpoenas also seek a list of all email accounts, social media accounts and telephone numbers used by Fann and Townsend between October 2020 and now.
The subpoenas are signed by Thomas Windom, a federal prosecutor who has been tasked with investigating the false-electors scheme.
A spokesperson for Fann, who is not seeking reelection when her term expires in January, has said she is cooperating with the investigation. The spokesperson said they do not expect Fann to have to testify in person to the grand jury, which is located in Washington.
The Times continues:
The subpoenas, some of which have been obtained by The New York Times, show that prosecutors are interested in collecting information on a group of pro-Trump lawyers who helped to devise and carry out the plan.
Among the lawyers named in the subpoenas are Rudolph W. Giuliani, who helped oversee Mr. Trump’s challenges to the election, and John Eastman, an outside lawyer who drafted several memos encouraging Mr. Trump to use the fake electors as part of the campaign to pressure Mr. Pence to throw him the election.
Last month, federal agents stopped Mr. Eastman outside a restaurant in New Mexico and seized his cellphone. That same day, agents also seized electronic devices from another lawyer involved in the fake elector scheme, Jeffrey Clark. Mr. Clark, a former Justice Department official, helped draft a letter to state officials in Georgia falsely stating that the department had evidence of election fraud in the state.
Update: Rudy Giuliani has already had his bar license suspended in New York and Washington , D.C. , for his unethical conduct surrounding January 6. Now Ethics Board Moves to Penalize Jeffrey Clark, Who Aided Trump in Election Plot:
A complaint filed this week by the D.C. Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which governs lawyers in Washington, accused Mr. Clark of interfering in the administration of justice in his bid to keep President Donald J. Trump in power.
The ethics complaint comes as the Justice Department’s watchdog and federal prosecutors are also scrutinizing Mr. Clark for his efforts to wield the department’s authority to falsely persuade election officials and the American public that Mr. Trump had won the presidential race.
Mr. Clark “attempted to engage in conduct involving dishonesty” and “attempted to engage in conduct that would seriously interfere with the administration of justice,” the complaint said.
Given the massive amount of publicly available information about these corrupt Republican lawyers – all Coup Plotters – the grand jury testimony of witnesses who were in the room is just gravy for prosecutors to pursue a criminal indictment.
Because they are corrupt Republican lawyers, they will assert attorney-client privilege and executive privilege. But the crime-fraud exception eviscerates these privileges. There is no privilege for a conspiracy to commit a coup d’état, an act of sedition and insurrection, and some would dare call it treason.
Rudy Giuliani is already the subject of a long-running FBI investigation into his foreign dealings in Ukraine, and his partners in crime, Lev Parnas and Igor Frumas, have already been convicted and sentenced to prison for campaign finance violations involving the Trump campaign.