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Special Counsel Investigation into January 6 & Attempts to Overturn the 2020 Election

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

Special Counsel Jack Smith is leading a federal investigation into Donald Trump and others’ roles in inciting and encouraging the violent events of January 6, and attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It is a federal crime to obstruct, influence, or impede an official federal proceeding, including, potentially, the January 6th, 2021 certification of the votes of the electoral college.

Special Counsel Jack Smith, Leading the DOJ Investigation into Trump
Jack Smith. Photo: Tom Brenner/The Washington Post

The investigation now also includes collecting testimony from various fake electors from the 2020 election. Reports indicate Special Counsel Smith is also investigating whether Trump and his allies committed criminal fraud when they raised more than $200 million in donations for their efforts to contest the results of the 2020 election based on unsubstantiated claims of fraud.


At least one federal grand jury in Washington D.C is considering evidence related to these matters.


The federal grand jury began investigating these issues in the fall of 2021. Recently a bipartisan slate of state and local officials in Arizona and Georgia have testified or been subpoenaed to testify in the investigation, which is ongoing. Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former Trump official Steve Bannon have also been subpoenaed or testified. Several Secret Service agents have also given sworn testimony. A complete list of people known to have testified before the grand jury is available here.


It is currently unknown if or when the grand jury investigating this issue will decide to issue an indictment against Donald Trump or other individuals it has been investigating.




Other Cases

Special Counsel Jack Smith also is investigating Trump’s retention of classified documents, which has already resulted in an indictment of Trump in Florida. The documents investigation may yet result in additional indictments.


Donald Trump has already been indicted on 34 counts in one criminal proceeding in New York State Court related to hush money payments made to an adult film star during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has also been indicted a second time by a federal grand jury in Florida on 37 counts in relation to unlawful retention of classified documents after his presidential term.


Other grand juries in Washington, D.C. and Fulton County, Georgia are currently reviewing evidence and hearing witness testimony related to additional possible crimes committed by Donald Trump and his allies. Each grand jury is considering different crimes under the jurisdiction of different courts. All grand juries are made up of local citizens randomly chosen from the jury pool.

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