Given recent event at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump clearly has reason to be concerned about his precarious legal standing. But the Justice Department’s investigation into the former president taking highly classified national security documents — and refusing to give them back — is only part of an amazing mosaic of scandals.
There’s also, of course, the ongoing criminal investigation in Georgia, which Trump appeared rather panicked about overnight. There’s also the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation, as well as the civil and criminal probes in New York.
But let’s not forget the investigation that could very well prove to be the most dramatic of them all: the Justice Department’s criminal probe of the Jan. 6 attack and Team Trump’s efforts to overturn the election results. For months, there was ample speculation about whether investigators were moving forward with any vigor at all. As the latest New York Times reporting suggests, those questions are now getting answers.
Federal prosecutors investigating the role that former President Donald J. Trump and his allies played in the events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol have issued a grand jury subpoena to the National Archives for all the documents the agency provided to a parallel House select committee inquiry, according to a copy of the subpoena obtained by The New York Times.
Remember, this is entirely unrelated to the Justice Department’s other investigation into Trump, involving the classified materials he took and refused to part with.
According to the Times’ reporting, which has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, the grand jury subpoena — issued three months ago, though we’re just learning about it now — made a sweeping demand for “all materials, in whatever form” that the archives had given to the bipartisan House committee, including “records from the files of Mr. Trump’s top aides, his daily schedule and phone logs and a draft text of the president’s speech that preceded the riot.”
Also of interest is the fact that this scrutiny includes the plan to “submit fake slates of pro-Trump electors in states actually won by Joseph R. Biden Jr.”
To quickly recap for those who might benefit from a refresher, it was in March when the Times first reported that federal prosecutors “have substantially widened their Jan. 6 investigation to examine the possible culpability of a broad range of figures involved in former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”
It raised a few eyebrows for a reason: The Justice Department hasn’t made a lot of noise about its Jan. 6 probe, but the reporting suggested it was eyeing Team Trump, and not just rank-and-file rioters who launched their assault in his name.
Around the same time, The Washington Post also reported that the federal grand jury had “issued subpoena requests to some officials in former president Donald Trump’s orbit who assisted in planning, funding and executing the Jan. 6 rally.”
In the months that followed, the grand jury heard from top members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s team. As part of the same probe, federal investigators descended on Jeffrey Clark’s home; FBI agents executed a search warrant against Trump lawyer John Eastman; and Ali Alexander, the founder of the “Stop the Steal” group that organized a Jan. 6 rally, also testified.
It’s against this backdrop that the grand jury subpoenaed a wide range of materials from the White House, including Trump’s schedules and phone logs.
It’s unlikely that anyone would characterize the Justice Department’s probe as swift or rushed, but let there be no doubt: This investigation exists and it’s intensifying.