Days after a grand jury rejected Donald Trump’s pleas on the New York Attorney General’s case on tax evasion and “loan fraud”, the former President has received another jolt with newly-appointed special counsel Jack Smith wasting no time in issuing fresh subpoenas to local officials in four states Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania in the 2020 election denial by Trump.
Just a few weeks after his appointment by Attorney General Merrick Garland as DOJ special counsel, Smith, a former prosecutor and veteran investigator, has subpoenaed the local election officials of the states which were targeted by Trump and his allies during the 2020 election which elected Democrat Joe Biden as President, media reports said.
Smith was originally appointed to conduct the criminal investigation of the classified documents Trump retained at his Mar-a-Lago resort and further investigate the January 6 Capitol Hills insurrection. The special counsel has requested communications with or involving Trump between June 1, 2020, and January 20, 2021, to, from, or involving Trump, his campaign attorneys and aides including John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, both Trumps counsel.
Backing Smith’s moves is the Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis who is investigating whether Trump and his allies interfered with the 2020 election in Georgia, reports said.
Smith has heard from three out of the four states. George Christenson, a clerk in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, said he had received the subpoena earlier this week and is working with the county’s attorney to comply with the request as soon as possible. He also says he doesn’t expect to find any smoking gun, reports said.
In Wisconsin, Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell received a subpoena and has mentioned he didn’t expect his response to the subpoena to uncover any new information, because he “doesn’t have any stories of Trump calling me at dinner like the other guys”. Trump ordered a recount of ballots cast in both Wisconsin counties.
According to Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Secretary of State, Wayne County received a subpoena but could not say what Smith was actually seeking. She replied saying she welcomed the support of any law enforcement agency that was working to ensure full accountability for efforts that were made to illegally overturn a fair and accurate verdict of Michigan’s 2020 election.
Trump alleged that Wayne County, predominantly a Black neighbourhood, was “duplicating ballots”. He eventually filed a lawsuit that failed. However, Trump’s efforts did cause the poll workers to halt their count on election day.
Maricopa County, which is again the subject matter of a dispute between Trump-backed Kari Lake and Katie Hobbs in Arizona in the November midterms, has also received a subpoena. It may be recalled that in the 2020 election, Trump and his aides asked Republicans on the county board of supervisors not to certify Biden’s win. There are reports that the chairman of the board dodged calls from the White House operator.
Pennsylvania’s second-largest county of Allegheny has not responded so far.