A federal grand jury sitting in Washington D.C. has issued subpoenas aimed at the Save America PAC, the operation Trump formed soon after Election Day 2020 to exploit his lie that the election had been stolen from him. Trump has used the super-PAC to raise funds for his own political future as well as to distribute money to candidates he has endorsed around the country.
This grand jury appears to be separate from the one already investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. Subpoenas from this new grand jury were issued to, among others, the execrable Stephen Miller, Trump’s speech writer and senior adviser in the White House, and Brian Jack, Trump’s former White House political director. Miller has been paid by the Trump super-PAC since leaving the White House, and Jack has worked as an adviser to Trump after leaving the White House, as well as for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the House minority leader.
The grand jury has also subpoenaed several other people who worked on the Trump campaign or in the White House in various positions, such as the campaign finance director and the former chief of staff to Ivanka Trump. According to the New York Times, at least one of the new subpoenas was signed by Thomas P. Windom, a veteran fraud prosecutor in the Department of Justice, and another was signed by Mary L. Dohrmann, a federal prosecutor whom the Times reported has been working with Windom in recent months.
The other grand jury has issued subpoenas seeking information about the scheme Trump developed after the election to send fake slates of electors to Congress in order to disrupt the count on January 6 or to throw the election into the House of Representatives. These subpoenas, according to the Times, “sought communications with several pro-Trump lawyers — like Kenneth Chesebro — who helped devise the electors plan.” Other subpoenas were sent to Republican state representatives and senators allied with Trump, as well as to Republican state officials in the states that sent the slates of fake electors to Congress.
The two prosecutors behind the subpoenas seeking information on Trump’s super-PAC have also made appearances in court to oppose a motion by John Eastman to retrieve his cell phone from the FBI, which seized the device last June. Eastman was the Trump lawyer who devised the fake elector scheme and was one of the speakers at the Trump rally on the Ellipse just before the assault on the Capitol on January 6.
The new grand jury and the subpoenas issued to persons associated with Trump’s super-PAC mark a significant expansion of the criminal investigation of the former president, who is also under investigation for his removal of thousands of documents and other materials from the White House when he left office. The documents include at least 100 with classification markings up to the highest, most sensitive secrets the nation has, including several marked TS/SCI, for Top Secret/Secure Compartmented Information. This designation is used for documents so secret that they must only be viewed in a SCIF, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, overseen by an intelligence official who keeps a written record of everyone who sees the documents.
The SCIF at Mar a Lago was taken out after Trump left office. The documents marked TS/SCI, which should have been stored inside such a facility, were found by the FBI in the basement of Mar a Lago in a minimally secured storage room and in a box in Trump’s office, which is located just off the resort’s main ballroom, frequently used for weddings and public events like political fund raisers.
The Save America PAC was registered with the Federal Elections Commission on November 9, 2020, two days after news organizations had called the election for Joe Biden. (If you need evidence that Trump knew he had lost the election, there it is.) The Trump super-PAC has not doled out very much of the money it has raised to Republican candidates endorsed by Trump. “Instead, it has hoarded cash or used it to pay firms and groups devoted to helping Mr. Trump, including his own businesses, or to undermining his enemies,” according to the Times. The super-PAC also has paid lawyers for Trump, including Christina Bobb, who signed the official certification on June 3 attesting that there were no remaining classified documents stored at Mar a Lago. The FBI, of course, found more than 100 new classified documents when it searched the Trump resort/club/residence on August 8. Another lawyer who has been paid by the Trump super-PAC is Lindsey Halligan, whose name has appeared on court filings involving the appointment of a special master to review the documents Trump removed from the White House.
The Save America PAC has also spent more than $200,000 at Trump hotel properties, according to the Times. Profits from the hotels owned by Trump would go directly into the bank accounts of the former president. The Trump super-PAC also paid nearly $8.7 million to Event Strategies, Inc., the company that helped organize the Ellipse rally on January 6.
Why it would take $8.7 million to organize a rally held about 200 yards from the White House is a mystery. Those must have been some very expensive bullet-proof plastic shields protecting Trump and the other speakers at the rally, and they must have been standing on some very expensive sheets of plywood used in the construction of a very expensive stage for the rally.
Or maybe Event Strategies paid inflated salaries to a whole bunch of people who “worked” on the rally, who then turned around and kicked back some of the money to YKW. The acronym this time stands for You Know Who.
For future grand jury updates, watch this space.
Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.
Reprinted with permission from Lucian Truscott Newsletter