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Jan. 6 probe expands with new subpoenas focused on fake voters

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The Justice Department’s investigation into the Jan. 6 attack gathered pace on Wednesday as federal agents issued subpoenas to people in at least two states, in what appeared to be a growing probe. wide on how political activists supporting President Donald Trump tried to use disabled voters to thwart Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory.

FBI officials confirmed to the Washington Post that agents conducted court-authorized law enforcement activities Wednesday morning at two locations — one at the address of Brad Carver, a Georgia lawyer who allegedly signed a document claiming to be a Trump voter, and another at Thomas’ home in Virginia. Lane, who worked on Trump campaign efforts in Arizona and New Mexico. FBI officials have not identified the people associated with these addresses, but public records list each of the locations as the men’s home addresses.

On June 21, the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol presented a plan backed by President Trump to void the 2020 election. (Video: Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

The precise nature of the information sought by the Justice Department was not immediately clear; however, Arizona and Georgia officials testified on Tuesday before a House panel investigating the Jan. 6 attacks on attempts by Trump and his inner circle of advisers to try to reverse Biden’s constituency victories in those states.

Trump campaign documents show advisers knew fake voter plan was baseless

Officials have previously said the Justice Department and FBI are looking into the issue of fake voters, which Trump and others hope could be vetted by state lawmakers in a last-ditch attempt to keep Trump on the sidelines. White House. So far, however, those investigative efforts seemed to mostly involve talking to people in Republican circles who knew about the scheme and opposed it; subpoenas issued Wednesday suggest the Justice Department is now set to interview at least some of those who have agreed to continue the effort.

FBI agents delivered a subpoena to Lane Wednesday morning at his home in Virginia, according to a person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. After leaving the Trump campaign, Lane worked for the Republican National Committee’s electoral efforts in Virginia, the person said. Public records list an address for Lane in South Arlington, and an FBI spokeswoman confirmed that agents conducted “court-authorized law enforcement activity” at that address this morning.

Phone messages left with Lane were not immediately returned. Carver, the Georgia lawyer, also did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The Justice Department’s new investigative steps come amid a series of high-profile congressional hearings examining not only the riot on Capitol Hill, but also Trump’s efforts to undo Biden’s election victory through fake voters, lobbying from the Department of Justice and false claims from massive voter fraud.

Before, during, after: the attack of January 6

Previously, the Department of Justice issued subpoenas and solicited interviews with some of the the 15 people across the country who were expected to be Trump voters if he won their states — but were replaced on Electoral College voting day, multiple people told The Washington Post. Some of those Republicans told the Post they didn’t participate because Biden won the popular vote in their state and they didn’t think gatherings were appropriate; others said they declined to participate because they were sick or had scheduling conflicts.

Among those who declined to participate were Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Lawrence Tabas, an election rights expert who defended Trump in 2016 against a recount campaign by Green Party candidate Jill Stein; former Congressman Tom Marino (R-Pa.), one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump’s presidential campaign; and Georgian real estate investor John Isakson, son of the late Republican Senator Johnny Isakson.

These subpoenas sought all documents since October 1, 2020, related to the Electoral College vote, as well as all election-related communications with a dozen people in Trump’s inner circle, including Rudy Giuliani, Bernard Kerik, Boris Epshteyn , Jenna Ellis and John Eastman. A potential Trump voter in Georgia, Patrick Gartland, had been appointed to the Cobb County Board of Elections and Registration and believed the position meant serving as a voter would have created a conflict of interest for him. However, two FBI agents recently came to his house with a subpoena and asked if he had contact with any Trump advisers at the time of the November elections. “They wanted to know if I spoke to Giuliani,” Gartland said.

Fake Trump voters in Georgia told to hide their plans in ‘secrecy’, emails say

The Capitol Hill hearings have increased public pressure on the Justice Department to take more aggressive and overt steps to investigate Trump and those close to him for their roles in the run-up to Jan. 6.

But senior Justice Department officials also complained to the panel that prosecutors needed access to transcripts of more than 1,000 private committee interviews, and said not having those transcripts jeopardized the ongoing trial. of five members of the extremist group Proud Boys accused of seditious conspiracy. for their role in the riot. The federal judge in charge of this case on Wednesday ordered a further postponement of the trial, from August 8 to December.

More than 820 people have already been charged by the Justice Department for their role in the January 6 attack, making it the largest investigation in the department’s history. Hundreds of other people are wanted. But Democrats and some lawyers have argued that the Justice Department should speed up investigations of high-level organizers and political operatives, given the severity of the threat to democratic institutions.

Earlier this year, prosecutors significantly expanded their investigation by issuing subpoenas to those who participated in preparations for the rally that preceded the riot.

This is a developing story.

Alice Crites, Jacqueline Alemany and Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.