WASHINGTON – Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith, now overseeing the federal criminal investigations involving Donald Trump, has issued a series of subpoenas in recent days to local officials seeking communications with the former president, his campaign and advisers.
Officials in Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona confirmed Tuesday that subpoenas had been received by county authorities, the first known requests issued by the special counsel since his appointment last month to manage dual investigations into efforts to subvert the 2020 election and Trump’s handling of government documents seized from his Florida estate.
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Scott McDonell, the clerk of Dane County, Wisconsin, said he received a document request Dec. 1, seeking any communications from a list of 19 people, including a number of Trump attorneys, from June 1, 2020, through Jan. 20, 2021.
McDonell said Tuesday that he is responding to Smith’s request with copies of a small number of contacts with Trump attorney James Troupis, who had communicated with the clerk during the 2020 Wisconsin recount.
“It’s going out today,” McDonell said.
A copy of the subpoena, provided by the clerk, specifically requested “any and all communications in any form” involving the former president, the campaign or any agent or attorney representing the campaign.
Also among the 19 people listed in the document were attorneys John Eastman, the architect of the election decertification scheme, and Rudy Giuliani, who led campaign challenges in several states.
George Christenson, the Milwaukee County clerk, reported receiving a similar request Friday.
“I’m happy to participate to help the grand jury get to the truth,” Christenson said.
The special counsel’s request was being reviewed by the clerk’s staff for the relevant communications.
“We will have something that is responsive,” he said.
Maricopa County, Arizona officials said a summons also was received late last week.
The Washington Post first reported special counsel’s subpoenas earlier Tuesday.
The Michigan secretary of state’s office also confirmed that a subpoena had been issued to Wayne County officials late last week.
“We welcome and support the work of any law enforcement agency working to ensure full accountability for efforts to illegally overturn the fair and accurate results of Michigan’s 2020 election,” Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said in a brief written statement.
Attorney General Merrick Garland tapped Smith to manage the investigations shortly after Trump announced a bid to retake the White House now occupied by Garland’s boss, President Joe Biden.
“I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel,” Garland said last month, adding that the appointment underscores a “commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters.”
Norm Eisen, who served as counsel to the first Democratic House impeachment of Trump, said the subpoenas appeared to target Trump’s efforts to create alternate slates of electors from the official ones supporting Biden.
“That is the focus of the subpoenas today, this effort in the states,” Eisen said.
Contributing: Joey Garrison