The Department of Justice is ramping up its investigation into the creation of alternate slates of pro-Trump electors seeking to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election victory, The New York Times reports.
The investigation is particularly focusing on a team of lawyers who worked for former President Donald Trump.
"A federal grand jury in Washington has started issuing subpoenas in recent weeks to people linked to the alternate elector plan, requesting information about several lawyers including Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and one of his chief legal advisers, John Eastman, one of the people said," the Times reports.
Also sought by the subpoenas are pro-Trump lawyers like Jenna Ellis and Kenneth Chesebro.
As the Times points out, election officials in seven key swing states offered formal lists of pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College claiming that the states would lean in favor of Trump when their claims of mass voter fraud were accepted.
Submitting false statements to a federal agency or agent is a federal crime.
Trump's unceasing and unfounded claims that the November 2020 presidential vote was "stolen" by Democrat Joe Biden have seeped into the political bloodstream.
Seventy-eight percent of the Republicans surveyed by CNN-SSRS said they do not believe Biden legitimately won the presidency, a figure in line with the findings of other opinion polls.
"It's a new phenomenon in American elections," said Edward Foley, a constitutional law professor at The Ohio State University.
"There have been fights over hanging chads -- like Bush vs Gore in 2000 -- and there have been recounts for as long as there have been elections in America," Foley said.
"But the 'Big Lie' is a new thing. It's disconnected from reality and it's kind of a social pathology."
With additional reporting by AFP'
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