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Tag: election

Federal Agents Seize Phone of Trump Lawyer As Part of Election Probe

Former President Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling

The FBI seized the phone of John Eastman, a lawyer who helped former President Trump try to overturn the election results, according to a court filing Monday. 

In papers filed in federal court in New Mexico, Eastman said federal agents seized his cellphone as he left a restaurant last Wednesday, The Washington Post reports.

Eastman is asking for his phone back. 

The seizure came on the same day that federal agents delivered various subpoenas in connection with the criminal investigation surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

Eastman has been scrutinized for his role in spreading baseless information about election fraud. He wrote a memo explaining how then-Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to certify Joe Biden’s election victory. 

Eastman also encouraged state lawmakers is battleground states to use fake electors to declare Trump the winner of the election. 

DOJ Issues New Subpoenas in Investigation of Fake Electors

President Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department’s investigation of a fraudulent elector scheme aimed at trying to overturn the election picked up steam as federal agents delivered grand jury subpoenas Wednesday to four supporters of former President Donald Trump. 

The Justice Department is investigating Republicans in several battleground states for posing as presidential electors and falsely declaring that Trump won the election. 

The fake electors are accused of using fraudulent documents to subvert the outcome of the election. 

Those who were received a subpoena was Brad Carver, an attorney and official of the Georgia Republican Party; Thomas Lane, who worked on Trump’s campaign in Arizona and New Mexico; Shawn Flynn, a Trump campaign aide in Michigan; and David Shafer, chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, The New York Times reports.

The subpoenas come amid the House Jan. 6 committee hearings into Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. 

Trump Told Giuliani to Call Homeland Security to Seize Voting Machines

President Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling

Former President Trump asked Rudolph Giuliani to call the Department of Homeland Security and ask if officials there could seize voting machines in battleground states in an attempt to overturn the election, The New York Times reports.

The request came six days after the election. Giuliani called the department’s acting deputy secretary, who informed him that Homeland Security did not have the authority to take control of the machines. 

CNN also reported that Trump advisers drafted an executive order that would have directed the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense to seize voting machines. The idea came from retired Col. Phil Waldron and Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, according to CNN’s sources. 

In a meeting in the Oval Office, Trump also asked Attorney General William Barr about the prospect of the Justice Department seizing the machines. But Barr shot down the suggestion. 

Retired FBI Agent Vies for State Senate Seat in Texas

Retired FBI Agent Tim Reid. Photo: Campaign

By Steve Neavling

A retired FBI agent is running for a seat on the state Senate in Texas. 

Tim Reid, a Republican, is vying to replace retiring Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, The Amarillo Pioneer reports.

Reid worked as an FBI agent in Amarillo from 1986 to 2005, according to his press release. He now serves as director of athletics and campus safety at Ascension Academy in Amarillo, where he also teaches geopolitics, geography, and crime scene forensics. 

Reid previously served as a member of the Canyon ISD Board of Trustees. 

The primary election is scheduled for March 1, 2022. 

Ex-Acting AG Testifies That Trump Pressured DOJ Officials to Overturn Election

Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

Former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen told congressional investigators on Saturday that President Trump pressured him and other Justice Department leaders to overturn the election. 

Rosen’s testimony came during closed-door testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, The New York Times reports. He also met Friday with the Justice Department’s Inspector General.

Rosen also said Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the Justice Department’s civil division, pressed DOJ leadership to make false claims about widespread election fraud. At the time, Trump mulled replacing Rosen with Clark. 

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin said Rosen’s testimony was “invaluable.”

“It was real. Very real. And it was very specific,” Durbin said of Trump pressuring Rosen. “The former president is not subtle when he wants something.”

Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, lauded Rosen for his cooperation. 

“I have to say history is going to very kind to Mr. Rosen when this is all over. When he was initially appointed, I didn’t think that was the case. I was wrong,” Durbin said.

He added, “It’s a good thing for America we had someone like Rosen in that position.”

Trump Pushed DOJ Leadership to Declare 2020 Election ‘Corrupt’

President Trump at the White House, via the White House.

By Steve Neavling

Then-President Trump urged top Justice Department officials to declare the 2020 election “corrupt” in late December as part of an effort to overturn the outcome, according to hand-written notes of the conversation. 

In a Dec. 27 phone call with then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy Richard Donoghue, Trump also suggested he may replace the DOJ’s leadership, The New York Times reports.

Donoghue wrote notes of the conversation, which were released Friday by a House committee. 

“Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” Trump said, according to the notes. 

Donoghue advised Trump that his claims were unfounded. 

“Much of the info you’re getting is false,” Donoghue said, adding that the DOJ had conducted “dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews” and came across no evidence of fraud.  

The conversation comes several weeks after Attorney General William Bar said there was no evidence of widespread vote fraud. 

“These handwritten notes show that President Trump directly instructed our nation’s top law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., and chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said in a statement.

Trump also suggested, “People want me to replace DOJ leadership.”

Donoghue responded, “You should have the leadership you want,” but added it wouldn’t change the outcome of the election. 

DOJ’s IG Investigating Whether Department Tried to Overturn Election

Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifying before Senate Judiciary Committee.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department’s inspector general said Monday he’s launching an investigation into whether any department officials “engaged in an improper attempt” to overturn the presidential election. 

The announcement follows news reports that former President Trump tried to get department officials to challenge election results.

“The inspector general is initiating an investigation into whether any former or current D.O.J. official engaged in an improper attempt to have D.O.J. seek to alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election,” IG Michael Horowitz said in a statement, The New York Times reports

Before resigning in December, then-Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of widespread election fraud, contradicting Trump’s repeated and false assertions that the election was stolen from him.

FBI Seeks Information Related to Storming of U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating President Trump supporters who incited violence and stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, causing federal lawmakers and employees to flee.  

The bureau is asking for images, videos and other multimedia files that show possible violations of federal law. Anyone with evidence is asked to send it using an electronic form at fbi.gov/USCapitol

“The FBI is seeking information that will assist in identifying individuals who are actively instigating violence in Washington, D.C.,” the FBI said in a news release. “The FBI is accepting tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence in the U.S. Capitol Building and surrounding area in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021.”

One woman was fatally shot by police, and about 30 people were arrested for violating a curfew.