WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has issued about 40 subpoenas over the past week searching for information in regards to the actions of former President Donald J. Trump and his associates related to the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, in line with people aware of the situation.
Two top Trump advisers, Boris Epshteyn and Mike Roman, had their phones seized as evidence, those people said.
The department’s actions represent a considerable escalation of a slow-simmer investigation two months before the midterm elections, coinciding with a separate inquiry into Mr. Trump’s hoarding of sensitive documents at his residence in Florida, Mar-a-Lago.
Amongst those the department has contacted since Wednesday are people who find themselves near the previous president and have played significant roles in his post-White House life.
Those receiving the subpoenas included Dan Scavino, Mr. Trump’s former social media director who rose from working at a Trump-owned golf course to considered one of his most loyal aides and has remained an adviser after Mr. Trump left office. Stanley Woodward, considered one of Mr. Scavino’s lawyers, declined to comment.
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The Justice Department also executed search warrants to seize electronic devices from people involved within the so-called fake electors effort in swing states, including Mr. Epshteyn, a longtime Trump adviser, and Mr. Roman, a campaign strategist, in line with people aware of the events. Federal agents made the seizures last week, the people said.
Mr. Epshteyn and Mr. Roman didn’t reply to requests for comment.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
Bernard Kerik, a former Latest York City Police commissioner who promoted baseless claims of voter fraud alongside his friend Rudolph W. Giuliani, was issued a subpoena by prosecutors with the U.S. attorneys office in Washington, D.C., his lawyer Timothy Parlatore said on Monday. Mr. Parlatore said his client had initially offered to grant an interview voluntarily.
The subpoenas seek information in reference to the plan to submit slates of electors pledged to Mr. Trump from swing states that were won by Joseph R. Biden Jr. within the 2020 election. Mr. Trump and his allies promoted the concept competing slates of electors would justify blocking or delaying certification of Mr. Biden’s Electoral College victory during a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
A number of the subpoenas also seek information into the activities of the Save America political motion committee, the major political fund-raising conduit for Mr. Trump since he left office, a latest line of inquiry.
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For months, associates of Mr. Trump have received subpoenas related to other features of the investigations into his efforts to cling to power. However the indisputable fact that the Justice Department is now searching for information related to fund-raising comes because the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack has raised questions on money Mr. Trump solicited under the premise of fighting election fraud.
The brand new round of subpoenas were issued for a big selection of individuals around Mr. Trump, from low-level aides to his most senior advisers.
The Justice Department has spent greater than a 12 months focused on investigating a whole bunch of rioters who were on the bottom on the Capitol on Jan. 6. But this spring, they began issuing grand jury subpoenas to people like Ali Alexander, a distinguished organizer with the pro-Trump Stop the Steal group, who helped plan the march to the Capitol after Mr. Trump gave a speech that day on the Ellipse near the White House.
While it stays unclear what number of subpoenas had been issued in that early round, the knowledge they sought was broad.
In accordance with one subpoena obtained by The Latest York Times, the subpoenas asked for any records or communications from individuals who organized, spoke at or provided security for Mr. Trump’s rally on the Ellipse. Additionally they requested details about any members of the manager and legislative branches who can have taken part in planning or executing the rally, or tried to “obstruct, influence, impede or delay” the certification of the presidential election.
By early summer, the grand jury investigation took one other turn as a flurry of subpoenas was issued to state lawmakers and state Republican officials allied with Mr. Trump who took part in a plan to create fake slates of pro-Trump electors in several key swing states that were actually won by Joseph R. Biden Jr.
At the very least 20 of those subpoenas were sent out and sought details about, and communications with, several lawyers who took part within the fake elector scheme, including Mr. Giuliani and John Eastman.
Around the identical time, federal investigators seized Mr. Eastman’s cellphone and the phone of one other lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, whom Mr. Trump had sought at one point to put in because the acting attorney general. Mr. Clark had his own role within the fake elector scheme: In December 2020, he helped draft a letter to Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, saying that the state’s election results had been marred by fraud and recommending that Mr. Kemp convene a special session of the Georgia legislature to create a slate of pro-Trump electors.
At the very least a number of the latest subpoenas also requested all records that the recipient turned over to the House committee investigating Jan. 6, in line with an individual aware of the matter.
Michael Schmidt and Katie Benner contributed reporting.