Justice Department Subpoenas Allegheny County Election Officials for Trump Communications Around 2020 Election

This is a mail in ballot for the 2020 General Election issued by the Allegheny County Election Division in Pittsburgh, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

By Isabel Soisson

December 7, 2022

Special counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed election officials in Allegheny County, asking for communications with or involving former President Donald Trump, his campaign aides, and a list of allies involved in his efforts to try to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to the Associated Press.

Election officials in Milwaukee and Dane counties in Wisconsin, Wayne County, Michigan, and Maricopa County, Arizona, were also issued subpoenas, the first known subpoenas issued by Smith since he was named special counsel last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland.

These subpoenas are the clearest indication yet that Smith’s work will include an examination of the fake electors that were part of the former president’s efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election. All of the states where subpoenas were sent are states that Trump and his allies targeted as they tried to overturn the Democratic vote.

In Pennsylvania, Trump’s campaign sued unsuccessfully in court to try to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory, while his allies organized a Trump slate of electors to send to Congress. Trump and his supporters also repeatedly contacted top Republican lawmakers, at times asking about using the GOP-controlled legislature to give lawmakers the power to overturn the election. They refused.

Smith is overseeing both the investigation into the presence of classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, as well as key aspects of a separate probe involving the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Allegheny County election officials have yet to comment, but a spokesperson confirmed that they did receive a subpoena. The Pennsylvania Department of State, along with several jurisdictions targeted by Trump’s campaign in 2020 — Philadelphia and Bucks and Montgomery counties — declined comment on whether they’d received subpoenas, too.

Officials in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona have all responded, effectively saying that they would comply with the investigation.

This isn’t the first time the DOJ has involved the Keystone State in its investigations of Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 election results.

Earlier this year, two Pennsylvanians were among 14 people subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection. In July, the New York Times reported that former Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano was the “point person” in Trump’s fake elector scheme to overturn the 2020 elections results in Pennsylvania. In August, Mastriano walked out of an interview with the Jan. 6 committee without answering questions. Also, in August, Republican US Rep. Scott Perry’s cell phone was seized by FBI agents as part of the investigation into the fake elector scheme.


  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.



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