Former President Donald Trump is reportedly under investigation by federal prosecutors probing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot for alleged wire fraud related to his fundraising efforts between the 2020 presidential election and President Joe Biden’s inauguration.
The Washington Post reported the news on Wednesday evening, citing “eight people with knowledge of the investigation” who “spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing criminal investigation.”
The report explains that Special Counsel Jack Smith is investigating potential wire fraud crimes committed by Trump and his “fundraising operation” for using false claims of election fraud to elicit donations, which would “violated wire fraud laws.” The Post notes that under federal law it is “illegal to make false representations over email to swindle people out of money.”
The report adds:
Smith’s office has sent subpoenas in recent weeks to Trump advisers and former campaign aides, Republican operatives and other consultants involved in the 2020 presidential campaign, the people said. They have also heard testimony from some of these figures in front of a Washington grand jury, some of the people said.
The subpoenas, which were issued in early March, have not previously been reported and are aimed at gathering private communications between Trump and his fundraising staff to better understand whether or not they believed the claims behind their messaging, which the Post reports “generated more than $200 million in donations from conservatives.”
Smith and his investigator are probing whether fundraising emails containing rhetoric such as, “They want you to think this Election is over, but they are wrong” constitute actual fraud.
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