We've known for several weeks that Republicans in multiple states created forged election materials, pretending to be "duly elected and qualified electors," and sent the documents to, among others, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Archivist, as if the fake materials were legitimate. Among the unanswered questions, however, is what kind of scrutiny the scheme might receive.
The answer to that question is starting to come into sharper focus.
Politico reported this week, for example, that the National Archives has its own investigatory team, which is scrutinizing at least part of the effort to submit forged materials to the institution. Soon after, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco confirmed that the Justice Department is "looking at" the matter, which is part of an "ongoing" investigation. State attorneys general have also taken a keen interest in the burgeoning scandal.
And then, of course, there's the Jan. 6 committee. NBC News reported this afternoon:
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has issued subpoenas to 14 of the so-called "alternate electors" who'd falsely claimed that then-President Donald Trump had won the election in their states, seeking to find out who was behind "the scheme." The panel subpoenaed the people listed as chairperson and secretary for the bogus slates of electors from Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to find out more information about the plan to overturn the election results.
In a written statement, Rep. Bennie Thompson, the bipartisan panel's Democratic chairman, said, "The Select Committee is seeking information about attempts in multiple states to overturn the results of the 2020 election, including the planning and coordination of efforts to send false slates of electors to the National Archives. We believe the individuals we have subpoenaed today have information about how these so-called alternate electors met and who was behind that scheme.
"We encourage them to cooperate with the Select Committee's investigation to get answers about January 6th for the American people and help ensure nothing like that day ever happens again."
Note, the recipients of these new subpoenas are the fake electors themselves, not the operatives who organized the plot or provided these Republicans with the templates to be filled out as part of the scheme.
That said, it's not difficult to imagine the next round of subpoenas targeting the ringleaders, especially if/when the fake electors cooperate with investigators and shed light on who instructed them.
On a related note, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a related report yesterday, adding, "The Georgians who joined a false slate of GOP electors to aid Donald Trump's campaign to overturn the 2020 presidential election could face criminal charges, legal experts say, as federal officials launch a new inquiry into efforts to undermine the vote and local prosecutors ramp up their investigation."
Watch this space.