The Justice Department has issued 40 subpoenas to associates of former President Donald Trump relating to the agency’s criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 riot and the 2020 election. The investigation is separate from the House Committee’s investigation and from the Justice Department’s other investigation into classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
Dozens of subpoenas were issued in the span of just one week targeting allies of President Trump, from low-level aides to senior advisors. Longtime Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn and campaign strategist Mike Roman also had their phones seized recently, according to the New York Times. A subpoena is a court-ordered command that requires someone to either appear in court as a witness, attend a deposition, or provide evidence such as documents or a physical object in a legal case.
The 40 subpoenas issued to Trump associates is seen as the most dramatic move yet in the department’s 2020 election investigation. Meanwhile, the DOJ and Trump’s legal team are at a standstill over the appointment of a special master to look at the Mar-a-Lago documents. The DOJ has said they’re willing to accept one of Trump’s picks, a 78-year-old retired judge appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
The DOJ said in court filings that it would allow Raymond Dearie, 78, former chief judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, to act as special master, according to Reuters. While Trump’s team has rejected all of the DOJ’s picks, the department’s approval of Dearie marks a rare mutual agreement in the ongoing legal battle.
Dearie, 78, was nominated by Ronald Reagan and served in the U.S. district court from 1986 to 2011. In 2012, he was appointed by Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to a seven-year term on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, where he oversaw requests by federal investigators for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the United States.