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Scope of special counsel’s probe reportedly grows in unexpected ways

After the 2020 elections, Donald Trump fired DHS’ top cybersecurity official for telling the truth about the results. Investigators want to know why.


One of the striking things about Donald Trump’s rejection of his election defeat in 2020 was the number of people around him who rejected the outgoing president’s lies.

As regular readers know, his campaign manager didn’t believe the Big Lie. Neither did his campaign’s lawyers and data experts. His Justice Department appointees told him he lost fair and square, as did the outside private researchers who were hired to prove that he didn’t actually lose told him he lost.

And then, of course, there was Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security. The DHS’s Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), led by Christopher Krebs — the administration’s top cybersecurity official during the elections — not only rejected the Republican’s lies, it also issued a written statement explaining that there was “no evidence” that the 2020 presidential election had been compromised “in any way.”

Trump soon after fired Krebs for telling the public the truth and failing to endorse ridiculous conspiracy theories.

According to the latest reporting from The New York Times, this is of interest to special counsel Jack Smith and his investigators.

The special counsel investigating former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to cling to power after he lost the 2020 election has subpoenaed staff members from the Trump White House who may have been involved in firing the government cybersecurity official whose agency judged the election “the most secure in American history,” according to two people briefed on the matter. The team led by the special counsel, Jack Smith, has been asking witnesses about the events surrounding the firing of Christopher Krebs.

According to the Times’ reporting, which has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, the focus on Krebs’ firing would likely shed light on Trump’s “state of mind” as he fought to stay in power despite his defeat. Presumably, pulling on this thread would also offer investigators additional evidence that the then-president was presented with the truth by his own team, even as he pushed his anti-election lies.

What’s more, if the reporting is correct, this is also a timely reminder that while Smith and his team appear to be wrapping up the criminal investigation into Trump’s classified documents scandal, the special counsel’s office is continuing apace with its scrutiny of the former president’s legally dubious crusade to claim power he hadn’t earned.

And speaking of Smith’s other ongoing probe, The Washington Post had a notable report of its own overnight.

A Mar-a-Lago employee who helped move boxes of documents last June has been questioned about his conduct weeks later related to a government demand for surveillance footage from Donald Trump’s property, according to a person familiar with the federal probe of the former president’s handling of classified material.

This comes on the heels of a related Post report, which also hasn’t been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, which focused on investigators pressing the Mar-a-Lago employee on video footage showing him moving boxes into a storage room the day before the Justice Department showed up to retrieve materials Trump took and refused to give back.

If Trump launches into another anti-Smith tirade on his social media platform, at least we’ll know why.