DOJ Prosecutors Obtain Trump Communication Records

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An Arizona news outlet called the Arizona Mirror is reporting the existence of additional subpoenas for at least four current and former members of that state’s legislature amid the investigation at the Justice Department into political schemes in support of Trump’s attempts to retain power.

That investigation is led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, whose selection for the role was revealed to the public in November 2022 and who has recently subpoenaed or heard testimony from other prominent figures, like the at least three Trump lawyers who have given grand jury testimony. In Arizona, it appears those who were subpoenaed are, like others, not necessarily suspected of aiding Donald’s plot as much as investigators are again hoping to get at Trump and associates of the ex-president through these legislative figures. Like the subpoenas to others outside of Arizona in the Justice Department investigations, prosecutors are demanding communications with a series of high-profile names and interests, including Trump, his campaign, and people like Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and even far-right attorney Lin Wood.

The new subpoenas were for state Sens. Warren Petersen and Sonny Borrelli alongside state Rep. Ben Toma. Petersen is the current Senate President, while Toma is the Speaker in his chamber. Also newly subpoenaed was former state Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, who is a former head of the Senate elections committee. All four figures are Republicans. John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, and ex-Trump campaign chairman Bill Stepien were also among those whose potential conversations the subpoenas demanded. Besides the communications, the subpoenas also sought copies of any materials already provided for either the House committee that investigated the Capitol riot or any other similar investigation at a state or federal level. Earlier in Arizona, the Mirror notes that officials in Maricopa County, which is the state’s most populated, and two now former state Senators (Karen Fann and Kelly Townsend) were also subpoenaed. Demands to those individuals were similar, seeking copies of a slew of communications, should they exist.

Elsewhere in Arizona politics, Kari Lake keeps losing. The Republican, who lost last year’s race for Arizona governor, is still challenging her defeat in court, but this week, an appeals court in the state predictably rejected her latest arguments, again reaffirming the victory in that race of Democratic candidate Katie Hobbs, who’s been governor since early January. Lake argued she shouldn’t even be held to the standard of showing, in generally quantifiable terms, that the misconduct she dubiously alleged to have taken place actually affected the outcome. In other words, she wanted an election thrown out on little more than the supposed appearance of a problem. And these people accuse others of interfering with elections? Seriously? Predictably, Lake indicated she’d be appealing to the state Supreme Court in Arizona, although there’s no particular indication she’ll do better there.