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Justice Dept. Issues 40 Subpoenas in a Week, Expanding Its Jan. 6 Inquiry

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department issued about 40 subpoenas in the past week seeking information about the actions of former President Donald J. Trump and his associates regarding the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, it said. people. familiar with the situation.

Two top Trump advisers, Boris Epshteyn and Mike Roman, have their phones confiscated as evidence, those people said.

The department’s actions represent a substantial escalation of a slow simmering investigation two months before the midterm elections, which coincided with a separate investigation into Mr Trump’s hoarding of sensitive documents at his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago.

Among those the department has contacted since Wednesday are people close to the former president who played a significant role in his post-White House life.

Among those who received the subpoenas was Dan Scavino, Mr. Trump’s former social media director, who rose from working on a Trump-owned golf course to become one of his most loyal aides and has remained an adviser since Mr. Trump left office. Stanley Woodward, one of Mr. Scavino, declined to comment.

The Justice Department also issued search warrants to seize electronic devices from people involved in so-called bogus voter efforts in swing states, including Mr. Epshteyn, a longtime Trump adviser, and Mr. Roman, a campaign strategist, according to People who are familiar with the events. Federal agents made the seizures last week, people said.

Mr Epshteyn and Mr Roman did not respond to requests for comment.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

Bernard Kerik, a former New York Police Commissioner who along with his friend Rudolph W. Giuliani promoted baseless claims of voter fraud, was subpoenaed by prosecutors at the US law firm in Washington, his attorney, Timothy Parlatore, said Monday. Mr Parlatore said his client had initially offered to voluntarily allow an interview.

The subpoenas seek information related to the plan to file voter rolls pledged to Mr. Trump from swing states won by Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the 2020 election. Mr. Trump and his allies promoted the idea that competing voter lists would justify blocking or delaying certification of Mr Biden’s electoral college victory at a joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.

In a new line of investigation, some subpoenas are also seeking information about the activities of the Save America political action committee, the primary political channel for raising money for Mr. Trump since he left office.

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For months, Mr Trump’s associates have received subpoenas regarding other aspects of the investigation into his attempts to stay in power. But the fact that the Justice Department is now seeking information related to fundraising comes because the House selection committee investigating the January 6 attack has raised questions about money Mr. Trump has requested under the premise of the fight against electoral fraud.

The new Subpoenas were issued for a wide variety of people around Mr Trump, from low-ranking aides to his top advisers.

The Justice Department has spent more than a year investigating hundreds of rioters who were on the scene at the Capitol on Jan. 6. But this spring, they began issuing grand jury subpoenas to the likes of Ali Alexander, a prominent organizer—Trump Stop the Steal group, who helped plan the march to the Capitol after Mr. speech in the Ellipse at the White House.

While it remains unclear how many subpoenas were issued in that early round, the information they sought was broad.

According to a subpoena obtained by The New York Times, they asked for any data or communications from people who hosted Mr. Trump’s meeting at the Ellipse, delivered speeches, or provided security. They also asked for information on members of the executive and legislature who may have participated in planning or conducting the rally, or attempted to “impede, influence, impede or delay” the certification of the presidential election.

By early summer, the grand jury investigation had taken a different turn when several subpoenas were issued against state legislators and state Republican officials affiliated with Mr. create in several key swing states that were actually won by Mr. Biden.

At least 20 of these subpoenas were sent seeking information and communication with several attorneys participating in the fake voter scheme, including Mr Giuliani and John Eastman.

At about the same time, federal investigators seized Mr. Eastman’s cell phone and the phone of another attorney, Jeffrey Clark, who had at one point planned to install Mr Trump as acting attorney general. Mr. Clark had his own role in the fake voter scheme: In December 2020, he helped draft a letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, saying the state’s election results had been marred by fraud and Mr. Kemp recommended a to convene a special meeting. session of the Georgian legislature to create a list of pro-Trump voters.

At least some of the new subpoenas also asked for all of the records the recipient submitted to the House committee on Jan. 6, according to a person familiar with the case.

Michael S. Schmidt and Katie Benner reporting contributed.