Special Counsel Jack Smith has compelled at least two fake electors to testify to a federal grand jury about efforts to overturn the 2020 election, CNN reported Friday.
Along with his investigation into former President Trump’s handling of classified documents, which has brought about an indictment against Trump on 37 criminal counts, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith to investigate any potential criminal wrongdoing by Trump related to the 2020 election and the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.
The testimony described by CNN sources could signal that investigators are nearing decisions on criminal charges in the latter probe. The sources say numerous related witnesses have been told to appear before the grand jury in Washington—with no options to delay—most if not all before the end of this month.
Prosecutors initially obtained documents and interviews last spring from many of the Republicans who signed fake certificates to the federal government, falsely asserting that they, representing Trump, were the rightful electors in seven battleground states won by now-President Biden in 2020.
In situations where prosecutors were given witnesses immunity, then the witnesses tried to refuse answering questions under the Fifth Amendment, the special counsel’s office arrived at the courthouse in Washington ready to compel their testimony, said CNN sources.
Prosecutors asserted at a hearing on Tuesday that Eastman concocted a baseless theory and made false claims of fraud even after a reported 61 out of 62 courts had already rejected Trump’s lawsuits challenging the 2020 election results. In that 62nd case, a judge in Pennsylvania gave voters three days after the election to provide proper ID and “cure” their ballots.
CNN sources said that at least half a dozen witnesses have testified before the federal grand jury in Washington over four days in the past two weeks, with many of the sessions focused on the fake electors’ plot.