Jan. 6 Investigators Think Trump May Have Duped Donors With Election Fraud Claims
Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s investigation into Trump’s role on Jan. 6 has launched a probe into allegations the former president and his allies defrauded donors by touting false claims of election fraud. According to a report from The Washington Post, Smith’s office has issued a series of wide-ranging subpoenas to Trump advisers and former campaign staff requesting materials on the matter.
Sources tell the Post that the investigation is honing in on $200 million dollars generated by Trump and various PAC’s during the period between Nov. 3, 2020 and Jan. 20, 2021. Prosecutors are seeking to identify if campaign staff and fundraising operatives misrepresented claims of election fraud in order to drive donations toward Trump.
The materials requested by Smith’s office include a comprehensive record of fundraising emails — including drafts, and suggested edits from campaign staff — as well as records of any discussions about fundraising communications. Investigators also requested communication records of any conversations related to messaging strategy, discussions of the veracity of the former president’s claims of fraud, as well as discussions of the potential ramifications of campaign communications containing election fraud claims or misinformation.
Smith has cast a wide net in his investigation into Trump’s post-election behavior. The special prosecutor recently secured a major victory via a ruling compelling former Vice President Mike Pence to cooperate with a subpoena.
Trump was arraigned earlier this month on charges of falsifying business records brought forth by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. But the criminal charges against Trump and the Jan. 6 investigation are but the first rain of a looming legal storm.
Smith has also been appointed as Special Counsel in the investigation into Trump’s post-presidency retention of classified documents at his estate in Mar-a-Lago. Smith has issued subpoenas to dozens of Trump’s Palm Beach staffers and aides. Another grand jury in Georgia is probing Trump’s efforts to meddle with the state’s 2020 election outcomes, and the president is facing a civil rape lawsuit brought against him by author E. Jean Carroll.