DOJ subpoenas state election officials for Trump documents
Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed officials in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania, asking for communications with or involving former President Donald Trump, his campaign aides and a list of allies involved in his efforts to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The requests, issued to Milwaukee and Dane counties in Wisconsin; Wayne County, Michigan; Maricopa County, Arizona; and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, are the first known subpoenas by Smith, who was named special counsel last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Smith is overseeing the Justice Department’s investigation into the presence of classified documents at Trump’s Florida estate as well as key aspects of a separate probe involving the violent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and Trump’s frantic efforts to remain in power.
The subpoenas, first reported by The Washington Post, are the clearest indication yet that Smith’s work will include an examination of the fake electors that were part of Trump’s efforts to subvert the election count and certification.
Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said he received the subpoena on Monday and is working with the county’s attorney to comply with the request as soon as possible.
“I don’t see any issues with it,” he said. “Many of those names aren’t familiar to me, so I don’t know how many of those individuals did reach out to us. For example, I don’t recall receiving anything from Rudy Giuliani. I think I would have remembered that. But who knows.”
Christenson said he hoped the documents would help with the investigation, but he didn’t expect to turn over anything that hasn’t already been made public.
“I don’t expect to find any smoking gun,” Christenson said.
Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said he received a similar subpoena on Dec. 1, asking for communications he had with “the gang of people you would sort of expect.”
McDonell said the only person on the list that his office had interaction with was Jim Troupis, Trump’s Wisconsin-based attorney. Trump ordered a recount of ballots cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the two largest Democratic counties in Wisconsin, following the 2020 election. Troupis spearheaded the legal effort not to count tens of thousands of ballots cast absentee in that election, including his own.
McDonell said he didn’t expect his response to the subpoena to reveal anything that “hasn’t been covered in the past.”
“I don’t have any stories of Trump calling me at dinner like the other guys,” McDonell said.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson confirmed that Wayne County had received a subpoena from Smith but did not provide additional information on what it was seeking.
“We welcome and support the work of any law enforcement agency working to ensure full accountability for efforts to illegally overturn the fair and accurate results of Michigan’s 2020 election,” Benson said in a statement sent to The Associated Press.
Maricopa County also received a subpoena and will comply, said county spokesperson Fields Moseley. In Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, the state’s second-most populous county and home to Pittsburgh, received a subpoena as well, a spokesperson confirmed.
A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment Tuesday.