January 6 panel expands probe into fake voter scheme with new subpoenas: NPR
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The Democratic-led House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is expanding its probe into fake voters tied to the 2020 election, issuing six new subpoenas, including to two Republicans currently in the running for offices across the state.
The new wave of subpoena targets includes Kelli Ward, the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, in addition to two GOP political candidates in swing states. State Senator Doug Mastriano is running for Governor of Pennsylvania and State Representative Mark Finchem is running for Secretary of State in Arizona.
The subpoenas issued on Tuesday mark growing scrutiny from the panel in an effort to present former President Donald Trump with fake voters as he seeks to stay in office after losing the 2020 election. Last month, the committee issued a first wave of 14 subpoenas related to the scheme.
“The select committee is seeking information about efforts to send fake voter lists to Washington and alter the outcome of the 2020 election,” panel chair representative Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a statement. communicated. “We are seeking records and testimonials from former campaign officials and others in various states who we believe have relevant information about the planning and implementation of these plans.”
Thompson noted that the panel has now interviewed more than 550 witnesses and expects the six new witnesses to join that list. This is in addition to more than 66,000 pages of documents and 400 tips to the committee that are now part of the investigation.
The new subpoena requests on Tuesday seek testimony by mid-March and follow multiple criminal investigations into the same concerns.
California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who sits on the committee, said investigators must follow the investigation where it leads, even if that means subpoenas for people currently seeking office.
And with the panel’s burden of obtaining all the facts related to the Jan. 6 riot and the events that preceded it, it’s clear that the bogus voter scheme was a key part of the plot to overturn the results of the elections. elections, Lofgren said.
“The subpoenas that were issued weren’t issued because they’re candidates; it’s because they were part of the fake voters list conspiracy in 2020,” Lofgren said. “So some of the fake voters are candidates – most of them aren’t – but it’s related to their past activities, not their current activities.”
Ward, the panel saidreportedly spoke to Trump and his team about election certification issues in Arizona and worked to pass documents seeking an “alternate” voter from the Arizona Electoral College.
The Republican candidate for governor, Mastriano, was part of a plan to organize a fake Pennsylvania voters list and allegedly spoke with Trump about post-election activities, the panel said.
Committee investigators say Arizona GOP nominee, Finchem, helped organize an event in Phoenix where Trump’s legal team and others shared false allegations of voter fraud. Finchem was also in Washington, DC, the day of the attack on the Capitol, saying he had to provide “evidence” to Vice President Mike Pence to delay certification of the election results, the panel said.
The new subpoena targets also include two officials from Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign: Michael Roman and Gary Brown. Roman, as director of Election Day operations, and Brown, as deputy director, both promoted false allegations of voter fraud and encouraged state officials to appoint bogus voters, the committee said. .
Finally, the panel said they hoped to speak to the former Michigan GOP chairman Laura Cox after she allegedly saw Trump’s former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani press state lawmakers to reject Michigan’s election results.
The new testimony demands come after revelations that about a month after the 2020 election, Republicans from seven key states met and signed documents falsely claiming that Trump was or could be the winner of Electoral College votes. of their state. The documents were then sent to federal officials.
In total, the committee publicly issued 86 subpoenas, in addition to other subpoenas requesting phone and bank records, as well as quiet requests for testimony from other targets that were not announced by the committee at the time. time of issue.