The special counsel investigating Donald Trump could decide whether to file criminal charges against him in just weeks after amassing a trove of new state documents concerning pressure to overturn the 2020 election, sources have told Bloomberg.
Special Counsel Jack Smith and his team of Justice Department prosecutors are currently poring over new emails, letters and other records from battleground states.
“You can tell that it’s moving quickly,” Brian Kidd, a former federal prosecutor who served under Smith at the Department of Justice (DOJ), told Bloomberg.
Officials in Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico and Nevada confirmed to Bloomberg that they have complied with grand jury subpoenas from Smith’s office.The material turned over by Nevada and reviewed by Bloomberg reveals that Trump representatives baselessly accused the state’s local officials of allowing election “fraud and abuse” soon after Trump lost the vote to Joe Biden.
In a recorded phone call released last year, Trump told Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and the general counsel in his office after the election to “find” enough votes to turn his loss into a win. “Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break,” Trump said in the call.
Subpoenas went to officials in a total of seven states that Biden won and where Trump or his allies pressured politicians and election officials in a bid to subvert the vote and create “fake” slates of pro-Trump electors.
Officials in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania either declined to comment about whether or not they complied with subpoenas or did not immediately respond, according to Bloomberg.
Smith’s team is also closely examining voluminous testimony transcripts recorded by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. That testimony includes White House aides who testified that Trump knew he lost the election even as he was claiming fraud and a former official who linked Trump to the effort to seat the fake electors, Bloomberg noted.
The Jan. 6 committee last month unanimously voted to refer four criminal charges against Trump to the DOJ: Obstructing an official proceeding, conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to make false statements, and inciting an insurrection against the United States.
Smith, who was appointed in November by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland just days after Trump announced he was again running for the presidency, is in charge of investigations into both Trump’s efforts to overturn the election he lost and into classified documents found secretly stashed at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, home.
A federal judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of the DOJ in a battle concerning those documents. Beryl Howell, chief judge of the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., ordered that Trump’s attorneys had to provide the names of private investigators Trump hired to search his properties for any remaining records. The Justice Department presumably hopes to glean more details about how the documents were moved and stored at Trump properties from those investigators.