MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin officials are among the first people to receive subpoenas about former President Donald Trump and his failed attempt to overturn the election as part of a new investigation from the Department of Justice.
Newly appointed special counsel Jack Smith subpoenaed officials in Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona. Requests for records arrived in Milwaukee on Monday and in Dane County, Wisconsin, Maricopa County, Arizona and Wayne County, Michigan last week.
The Washington Post was first to report the news on Tuesday. TMJ4 News confirmed the information with the Milwaukee County Clerk's office, who tells us "there is speculation that the subpoena concerns the matters involving fake electors, as well as the January 6 insurrection."
Smith was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November to lead the Department of Justice's investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and Trump's alleged mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
The subpoenas appear to show the DOJ's effort to broaden its investigation to include local election officials and their potential interactions with Trump and his allies.
The criminal investigation into Trump's allegedly classified documents at Mar-A-Lago started last spring. Trump and the National Archives and Records Administration disagreed over the nature of the documents, which came to the Florida estate from the White House while Trump was still president.
Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson issued the following statement to TMJ4 News:
“I can confirm that my office received a subpoena for the documents involving correspondence from Former President Trump, his campaign, and his aides. I am working with the Office of Corporation Counsel to provide a complete and prompt response to this request. There is speculation that the subpoena concerns the matters involving fake electors, as well as the January 6 insurrection. I am supportive of this investigation as it is important that the due process of law takes its course for the sake of our Nation and its democratic institutions.”
Wisconsin election clerks on subpoenas
From The Associated Press
In Wisconsin, Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson said he received a subpoena on Monday and is working with the county's attorney to comply with the request as soon as possible.
"I don't see any issues with it," he said. "Many of those names aren't familiar to me, so I don't know how many of those individuals did reach out to us. For example, I don't recall receiving anything from Rudy Giuliani. I think I would have remembered that. But who knows."
Christenson said he hoped the documents would help with the investigation, but he didn't expect to turn over anything that hasn't already been made public.
"I don't expect to find any smoking gun," Christenson said.
Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell said he received a similar subpoena on Dec. 1, asking for communications he had with "the gang of people you would sort of expect."
McDonell said the only person on the list that his office had interaction with was Jim Troupis, Trump's Wisconsin-based attorney. Trump ordered a recount of ballots cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties, the two largest Democratic counties in Wisconsin, following the 2020 election. Troupis spearheaded the legal effort not to count tens of thousands of ballots cast absentee in that election, including his own.
McDonell said he didn't expect his response to the subpoena to reveal anything that "hasn't been covered in the past."
"I don't have any stories of Trump calling me at dinner like the other guys," McDonell said.