As federal agents handed grand jury subpoenas to at least four individuals connected to this plan, the Justice Department intensified its criminal investigation into a scheme by Donald J. Trump to set up slates of fake electors to help him stay in power in the 2020 election.
One of those who received a subpoena, according to two people familiar with the matter, was Brad Carver, a lawyer and official of the Georgia Republican Party who claimed to be one of Mr. Trump’s electors in the state, which was won by Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Another subpoena recipient was Thomas Lane, an official who worked on behalf of Mr. Trump’s campaign in Arizona and New Mexico, the people said.
According to people who are familiar with the matter, Shawn Flynn was a Trump campaign adviser in Michigan. He also received a subpoena.
David Shafer was the Georgia Republican Party’s chairman and served as an fake voter for Donald Trump.
Hearings of Jan. 6, House Committee
Mr. Shafer’s lawyer declined to comment. None of the men from the third group could be reached to comment on the subpoenas.
The Washington Post had reported the issuance of subpoenas earlier.
The fake elector plan is the focus of one of two known prongs of the Justice Department’s broad grand jury investigation of Mr. Trump’s multiple and interlocking attempts to subvert the election. The other has focused on a wide cast of political organizers, White House aides and members of Congress connected in various ways to Mr. Trump’s incendiary speech near the White House that directly preceded the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
This latest round of activity in the Justice Department’s inquiry came amid the House Jan. 6 committee’s high-profile hearings into Mr. Trump’s efforts to reverse the outcome of the election.
The subpoenas come less than one month after a previous round of grand jury subpoenas disclosed that prosecutors sought information regarding any involvement of a group pro-Trump lawyers in the fake election. Rudolph W. Giuliani (John Eastman), Boris Epshteyn; Jenna Ellis; Kenneth Chesebro and James Troupis were some of those lawyers. While evidence has been presented to the House Committee about the role of certain of these lawyers in the plan including Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Eastman, it’s not clear what roles, if any of the other, they might have played.
A grand jury in Washington issued the subpoenas. They also wanted records and information on other pro-Trump figures, such as Bernard B. Kerik (the former New York City Police Commissioner and longtime friend of Mr. Giuliani).
Many of the lawyers named in the subpoenas were also mentioned on Tuesday at the House select committee’s public hearing exploring Mr. Trump’s wide-ranging pressure campaign to persuade state officials to help him stay in office.
In a recording deposition by Ronna McDaniel the Republican National Committee chair, she recounted the moment Mr. Trump called and asked her to put Mr. Eastman onto the phone. “to talk about the importance of the R.N.C. helping the campaign gather these contingent electors.”
In large part, the first subpoenas for the fake election inquiry were sent to key swing state residents who nearly took part but did not because of various reasons. The new subpoenas appear to have been the first to bring Trump campaign officials into the probe, which is a significant but small step towards Mr. Trump.
Trump and his associates devised many plots to overturn election results, including the plan to make pro-Trump electoral representatives in those states where Mr. Biden won. This involved attorneys, campaign aides and White House officials as well as members of Congress.
The plan was developed as Mr. Trump and his allies sought to promote baseless assertions of widespread election fraud in key swing states and persuade state officials to reverse their certification of Mr. Biden’s victory. The plan was to put the pro-Trump slates up by Vice President Mike Pence’s oversight of the official certification for electoral votes at a joint session Congress. This took place on January 6, 2021.
In the weeks that followed Jan. 6, Trump and his close friends made a concerted effort to convince Mr. Pence to either count Trump’s pro-Trump voters and give Mr. Trump victory in the Electoral College, or declare the election uncertain due to competing electorate lists being received in different states.
It was intended to give Mr. Trump time to make his fraudulent claims or to potentially send the election to Congress, where every state would receive one vote. Trump may have been able to win because more delegates were held by Republicans than Democrats.
Adam GoldmanAnd Glenn ThrushParticipatory reporting
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