DOJ reportedly subpoenas dozens of Trump aides for apparent escalation of probe

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department has issued dozens of subpoenas to aides and associates of Donald Trump for information about the 2020 election and the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, according to the New York Times and CNN.

The flurry of subpoenas suggests the investigation, which is separate from the Trump administration’s seizure of Mar-a-Lago documents, is accelerating.

At least two Trump aides, Boris Epstein and Mark Roman, had their phones seized as evidence, according to the Times. Epshteyn declined to comment.

The subpoenas seek information about the Trump campaign’s plan to organize alternative electoral rolls in states won by President Joe Biden. Epshteyn was copied on an email in late 2020 from Trump’s lawyer, John Eastman, who developed the plan.

President Donald Trump addresses supporters at a rally protesting the Electoral College confirmation of Joe Biden for president in Washington on January 6, 2021.

Eastman has already been subpoenaed and had his phone confiscated. Eastman earlier declined to answer questions from the House panel investigating the Capitol attack or from a Georgia grand jury based on his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Another recipient of a subpoena was Bernard Kerik, the former New York police commissioner who coordinated the investigation into the voter fraud allegations with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Kerik’s attorney, Timothy Parlatore, told USA TODAY that Kerik was willing to testify to federal investigators as he already had before the House committee. Kerik had already turned over examples of a possible voter fraud case to the Justice Department for further investigation in late 2020, Parlatore said.

Former Attorney General Bill Barr testified to the House panel that the department found no evidence to support the Trump campaign’s allegations of widespread fraud.

Parlatore said the department’s latest subpoena seemed to be out of focus in the current investigation and asked Kerik about names he didn’t recognize.

“The normal DOJ subpoena is like firing a rifle,” Parlatore said. “This feels like a bunch of shotgun blasts, almost like a spray-and-pray mentality.”

According to the Times, the latest subpoenas included one to Dan Scavino, Trump’s former social media director. Trump promoted his 2020 election campaign fundraiser and rally on the morning of Jan. 6 via social media. Scavino’s attorney, Stanley Woodward Jr., declined to comment.

Others subpoenaed include Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien and Sean Dolman, the campaign’s finance director, according to CNN.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the calls.

White House official Dan Scavino, right, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, left, walk to Marine One with President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.

White House official Dan Scavino, right, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, left, walk to Marine One with President Donald Trump on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.

The investigation is separate from Mar-a-Lago’s seizure of Trump administration documents, which included dozens of classified files. In that probe, federal investigators said they were looking for evidence of violations of the Espionage Act for mishandling national defense documents or obstruction of justice.

More: Will Trump or his allies face charges on January 6? Legal experts explain the obstacles facing the DOJ

The investigation is also separate but overlaps with a local investigation in Fulton County, Georgia. District Attorney Fannie Willis has convened a special grand jury to investigate voter fraud and other possible election fraud by Trump and his campaign. The grand jury has subpoenaed Eastman and Giuliani, among others.

The Justice Department earlier declined without explanation to bring charges against Scavino or former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for defying subpoenas from the House committee investigating the attack. But the department charged Trump political strategist Steve Bannon, who was convicted of contempt, and former trade adviser Peter Navarro, who is awaiting trial.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dozens of Trump aides subpoenaed in DOJ probe of Jan. 6 Capitol attack

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