US’s DOJ expands criminal probe of Trump’s coup plot

Jacob Crosse

Over the past week, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued dozens of subpoenas to Donald Trump’s top aides, lawyers and campaign staff. In addition, according to the New York Times, federal agents have seized the phones of two Trump aides, attorney Boris Epshteyn and campaign strategist Mike Roman.
Both men were, and continue to be, involved in Trump’s effort to establish a dictatorship. Epshteyn is a near-daily guest on fascist Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast and was heavily involved, along with coup lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, in Trump’s campaign to appoint fraudulent pro-Trump electors.
Earlier this year, federal agents seized the phones of coup lawyer John Eastman and former DOJ environmental lawyer Jeffrey Clarke. Eastman advanced the unconstitutional theory that Vice President Mike Pence could unilaterally reject electors from states Trump lost. Clarke was a low-level, right-wing lawyer in the Justice Department whom Trump considered elevating to the department’s top post because he had agreed to announce that the DOJ was investigating voter fraud in battleground states that Trump lost to Joe Biden. Trump pulled back when the top officials in the department, who had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud, threatened to resign en masse.
While the subpoenas have not been made public as of this writing, one subpoena reviewed by CNN was described as “broad in scope.” CNN reported that the subpoena sought information concerning the bogus elector scheme, the “Stop the Steal” organization and the “Save America” political action committee. The Save America PAC is Trump’s primary fund-raising arm and the organization behind the January 6, 2021 rally at the Ellipse outside the White House that preceded the fascist storming of the US Capitol.
Since its founding shortly after the 2020 election, the Save America PAC has raised over $135 million. The committee paid about $8.7 million to Event Strategies Inc., a company that helped organize the seating and the audio and visual equipment for the Ellipse rally.
During that rally Trump, who was told there were armed supporters in the crowd, ordered the mob to march on the Capitol “or else you are not going to have a country anymore.”
While a complete list of those subpoenaed by the Justice Department has yet to be revealed, CNN, CBS and the New York Times have reported that over 30, and as many as 40, Trump accomplices have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in Washington D.C., some as early as September 23.
Those subpoenaed include:

  • Rudolph Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer and top coup lawyer. Giuliani is a frequent guest on Steve Bannon’s War Room podcasts.
  • Bernard Kerik, former commissioner of the New York Police Department and longtime ally of Giuliani. Kerik was one of dozens of Republican operatives who helped plot Trump’s coup while staying at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington D.C.
  • Stephen Miller, an outright fascist and Trump’s top speech writer. While in the White House, Miller was Trump’s senior adviser on immigration policy. He spearheaded Trump’s adoption of the inhumane child separation policy at the US-Mexico border. Miller first suggested that the White House use the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to invoke Title 42 and deny immigrants the right to asylum in the US.
  • Bill Stepien, a former Trump campaign manager. Stepien was slated to testify live before the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack earlier this year but failed to appear due to the birth of his child. In pre-recorded testimony, Stepien confirmed that Trump’s inner circle knew that Trump had lost the 2020 election within hours of the polls closing.
  • Sean Dollman, deputy operations manager in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and chief financial officer in the 2020 campaign.
  • Amy Kremer and her daughter Kylie Kremer, both of whom are Republican operatives. Both were previously subpoenaed by the House Select Committee for their role in Trump’s coup. Amy Kremer is a founding member of the Tea Party Patriots and chair of Women for America First (WFAF). Kylie is the executive director of WFAF. Both women worked with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in planning the “Save America” rally outside the White House on January 6.
  • Daniel Scavino, Trump’s former deputy chief of staff and communications. Earlier this year, the Justice Department announced it would not be seeking charges against Scavino or Meadows for defying subpoenas from the House Select Committee.
  • William Russell, a close adviser to Trump. Russell served in Trump’s White House and was with Trump during the attack on the Capitol. He has continued to work for Trump in Florida.
  • Brian Jack, the last White House political director under Trump. The New York Times reports that Jack continues to advise both Trump and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
    In an interview with CBS, Virginia-based attorney David A. Warrington, who claims to represent roughly a dozen of those subpoenaed by the Justice Department, said the subpoenas he received were nearly identical. Warrington said they requested information pertaining to the fraudulent elector plot, which was backed by Republican officials in seven states, as well as fundraising for the Save America PAC and the “Stop the Steal” rallies.
    The issuing of the subpoenas comes as the final primary elections wrap up this week, less than two months from the mid-term elections. Normally, DOJ prosecutors adhere to a “60-day” policy that prevents them from issuing su-bpoenas or charges against politicians two months before an election. That this is apparently being ignored reflects the intensity of the escalating political crisis within the capitalist state more than 20 months after Trump’s failed coup.
    Courtesy: WSWS.