Posts tagged with "Special Counsel Jack smith"

Special counsel Jack Smith slaps Rudy Giuliani with grand jury subpoena

January 11, 2023

Special counsel Jack Smith’s team has subpoenaed Donald Trump’s former attorney Rudy Giuliani—asking him to turn over records to a federal grand jury as part of an investigation into the former president’s fundraising following the 2020 election, reports CNN.

The subpoena, which was sent more than a month ago and has not been previously reported, requests documents from Giuliani about payments he received around the 2020 election, when Giuliani filed numerous lawsuits on Trump’s behalf contesting the election results, a person with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

Prosecutors also have subpoenaed other witnesses who are close to Trump, asking specifically for documents related to disbursements from the Save America PAC, Trump’s primary fundraising operation set up shortly after the 2020 election.

Taken together, the subpoenas demonstrate prosecutors’ growing interest in following the money after the 2020 election as part of their sweeping criminal probe around Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss of the presidency.

Save America was part of broader fundraising efforts by Trump and the Republican Party that raised more than $250 million after the election. Since then, the political action committee has compensated several lawyers who now represent Trump and his allies in January 6-related investigations.

The subpoenas to other witnesses in addition to Giuliani were sent in late December, according to other sources. The information that the prosecutors are seeking still is being collected, the sources said. With Giuliani, the investigators have prioritized getting financial information from him, one person said.

The inquiry to Giuliani came from David Rody, a former top prosecutor in New York who specializes in gang and conspiracy cases and is assisting Smith with examining a broader criminal conspiracy after the election, according to some of the sources.

In response to being informed of CNN’s reporting on Giuliani’s subpoena and asked for a statement, Ted Goodman, his adviser, said, “The mayor is unaware of the specific claims by this so-called ‘anonymous source,’ and therefore is not in position to respond.”

A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment and a representative for Trump has not responded to a request for comment.

CNN previously reported that the Justice Department in September subpoenaed witnesses for financial details about the Save America PAC, and that a portion of Smith’s office would dig into possible financial and campaign contribution crimes. The Giuliani subpoena and other December subpoenas represent a new round of inquiry, now from Smith’s office, which took shape over the holidays.

After the election, Trump and the Republican National Committee raked in millions of dollars as they told supporters the election was being stolen, marketing the fundraising effort as election defense. At the time, some officials working on the fundraising effort knew that Joe Biden’s electoral win was legitimate, despite Trump’s insistence it was fraudulent, the House Select Committee found in its own investigation.

Giuliani is likely to be a central figure in any probe of Trump’s close political circles after the election. After serving as Trump’s private attorney during the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the former chief federal prosecutor and mayor of Manhattan dove into Trump’s attempts to claim electoral victory. He unsuccessfully argued a case before a federal judge in Pennsylvania—where Trump sought to throw out the popular vote—and connected with state lawmakers as he tried to convince them of election fraud.

In the weeks after the 2020 election, Giuliani also held freewheeling press conferences, repeating allegations that he never could prove.

In addition to the financial inquiry, Smith’s office is pursuing possible criminal cases around the Trump campaign’s use of fake electors in battleground states; and the pressure on Congress and then-Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election’s result. In all of those schemes, Giuliani was a central player.

In his House select committee testimony, Giuliani explained that his team working with Trump pivoted to focus on state legislatures that could block the election result after his attempts failed in the courts. The New York state bar suspended him from practicing law because of his 2020 election efforts, and he’s also facing an attorney discipline proceeding in Washington, DC.

He declined to answer some questions the House asked about his work for Trump after the election, citing attorney confidentiality. Giuliani could try to make similar claims in the federal investigation, although the Justice Department has legal mechanisms with which it can try to overcome witness refusals to answer questions.

Research contact: @CNN

DOJ seeks to speak with Pence as part of January 6 investigation

November 25, 2022

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking testimony from former Vice President Mike Pence for its investigation into Donald Trump’s attempts to stay in power after losing the 2020 presidential election, reports HuffPost.

Sources familiar with the matter confirmed the DOJ’s efforts to The New York TimesCNN, and ABC News on Wednesday, November 23. All reported that Pence, who has developed a fraught relationship with Trump after refusing to support his election fraud claims, is open to the request.

DOJ investigators reportedly contacted Pence before Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel―Jack Smith, who once led the public integrity section―to take over the probe last week. As of now, Pence has not been subpoenaed.

Although he is reportedly open to testifying before the DOJ, Pence has refused to participate in a similar investigation led by a House select committee, saying last week that Congress “has no right to my testimony.”

But that doesn’t mean that Trump is happy about it: Indeed, according to HuffPost, the former president may seek legal avenues to stop Pence from testifying by invoking executive privilege, which at the very least, could stall the DOJ’s efforts to convene with him.

Pence could be a key witness in the investigations into the efforts by Trump and his allies to subvert democracy, including a plan to create a fake slate of pro-Trump electors in several states Biden won in 2020, because of his close communications with the ex-president in the days leading up to January 6, 2021, when an angry mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol with Trump’s encouragement.

Pence detailed many of their exchanges in his recently released book, saying Trump summoned him to meet with attorney John Eastman, who then pressured Pence to block the electoral college certification process in Congress.

Wednesday’s news comes the week after Pence shared that he’s giving “prayerful consideration” to running for president in 2024―a race for which Trump already has announced his candidacy. Pence said there are “better choices” than Trump for president last week when asked if he’d be a good presidential candidate again.

Research contact: @HuffPost