DOJ Prepares to Pull Multiple January 6 Threads Together

After Steve Bannon got indicted for defrauding thousands of Trump supporters, he complained to Charlie Kirk that 35 Trump associates had been raided the day before.

Bannon, unsurprisingly, was calling a legal request to provide information and testify truthfully, a raid.

But he appears to be right about the numbers. Over the last five days, multiple outlets have cobbled together the numbers that Bannon had ready at hand. Here are key reports:

  • NYT1, first reporting the focus on Trump’s PAC
  • NYT2, reporting 40 subpoenas and warrants for Boris Epshteyn and Mike Roman’s phones
  • CNN, reporting 30 subpoenas
  • CNN, story on scope of subpoenas
  • CNN, story on Mark Meadows
  • CBS, reporting 30 subpoenas
  • ABC, reporting 40 subpoenas

Between those reports, they describe the following having received legal process:

  • Boris Epshteyn, a key Willard participant (the NYT claims he served as an attorney)
  • Mike Roman, who played a key role in ferrying fake elector materials
  • William B. Harrison, an aide to Mr. Trump in the White House and after his presidency
  • William S. Russell, who served in the West Wing and now works for Mr. Trump’s personal office
  • Julie Radford, Ivanka’s Chief of Staff
  • Nick Luna, Trump’s body man
  • Sean Dollman, who was chief financial officer of Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign
  • Dan Scavino, Trump’s online brain
  • Bernie Kerik, who worked closely with Rudy on coup plans
  • Bill Stepien, Trump’s campaign manager
  • Brian Jack, WH political director
  • Amy Kremer, head of Women for America First
  • Kylie Kremer, in charge of the Ellipse rally
  • Stephen Miller, Trump’s fearmongerer around race
  • Mark Meadows
  • Ben Williamson, Meadows’ aide
  • Poll watchers

In a potentially related development, the government moved to be able to share Brandon Straka’s sentencing papers with him and his lawyers. He avoided jail time by providing leads about some of the people subpoenaed, but likely wasn’t forthcoming about pre-January activities and aimed to limit visibility into his own finances, which (according to CNN) are included in the scope of this latest round of subpoenas.

There are several important takeaways from this news.

First, DOJ’s scope is broader than the fake electors, broader even then the financing of the coup attempt (which, remember, Merrick Garland said was under investigation as early as January 5). As CBS describes, some of these subpoenas cover events that have long been part of the investigation for rioters: how they networked at state riots and earlier MAGA rallies, and how they responded to Trump’s call for Stop the Steal in December 2020. Only, this time it asks for evidence about those who organized those events.

Virginia-based attorney David A. Warrington, who said he represents approximately a dozen clients who have been issued subpoenas, said the FBI was “very professional” when serving his clients. He added that the subpoenas his clients received are nearly identical, describing them as lengthy documents divided into sections and subsections. They cover issues related to “alternate” electors and election certification deadlines on December 14 and January 6, fundraising by the Save America PAC and the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally — but not the ensuing riot.

The subpoenas require individuals provide documents and any communication between themselves and Trump allies like Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Sidney Powell and Bernie Kerik, Warrington said. The subpoenas also demand recipients to provide any communication with dozens of individuals who appeared on slates of fake electors.

At least some of the subpoenas compel recipients to appear before a grand jury on September 23 at the Washington, D.C., district courthouse, Warrington said.

Mother and daughter Amy and Kylie Kremer were served subpoenas last week, according to Warrington. They are listed as “host(s)” on the National Park Service permit for the Ellipse rally on January 6, 2021.

As NYT describes, they also focused on speakers and security for the Ellipse rally and members of the legislative branch who were part of the planning.

According to one subpoena obtained by The New York Times, they asked for any records or communications from people who organized, spoke at or provided security for Mr. Trump’s rally at the Ellipse. They also requested information about any members of the executive and legislative branches who may have taken part in planning or executing the rally, or tried to “obstruct, influence, impede or delay” the certification of the presidential election.

As CNN notes, it also covers compensation and communications with DOJ.

Some of the subpoenas, including one reviewed by CNN, were broad in scope, seeking information on a range of issues, including the fake elector scheme, Trump’s primary fundraising and political vehicle, Save America PAC, the organizing of the Trump rally on January 6, and any communications with a broad list of people who worked to overturn the 2020 election results.

The subpoena reviewed by CNN seeks records related to compensation provided to or received from a list of people that included Trump lawyers and campaign staffers through January 20, 2021.

It also asks for communications with anyone in the Justice Department.

Many of these people have communications with members of Congress and as such will prepare DOJ to surpass Speech and Debate protections for relevant figures.

But there are ways that last week’s actions are still broader.

I assume that the probable cause that DOJ showed to seize Epshteyn and Roman’s phones tied to the fake elector plot. Ephsteyn was the focus of DOJ’s activities for some time and Roman played a key role ferrying materials between the players.

But it has become clear that DOJ is what I’ll call sheep-dipping phones: seizing them for one purpose and then getting separate warrants to obtain the same content for other investigations. That fairly clearly is what happened with John Eastman and Scott Perry, where DOJ IG seized their phones but (in Eastman’s case) Thomas Windom quickly got involved. The late date and the sustained focus on Victoria Toensing, whom Congress has never mentioned, suggests I was right when I argued that DOJ could use the seized material from Rudy’s phones for the January 6 investigation.

And in Epshteyn’s case, he has been centrally involved in another of Trump’s schemes for which DOJ has already shown probable cause: He has been centrally involved in Trump’s response to the investigation into stolen classified documents.

As a number of outlets have noted, this subpoena bonanza took place just before the 60-day period when DOJ will have to avoid any big public steps in its investigations. But they’ve just arranged to obtain plenty to keep them busy — and quite possibly, enough to emerge on the other side with the ability to start putting all these parts together: a scheme to attack our democracy and get rich while doing it.

Update: In a second CNN story on the subpoena bonanza, they describe that those who blew off the January 6 Committee are being instructed to turn over what the committee asked for.

The subpoenas also ask for the recipients to identify all methods of communication they’ve used since fall 2020 and to turn over to DOJ anything the House select committee investigating January 6, 2021, has demanded – whether they cooperated with the House panel or not.

I’ve been anticipating that (and DOJ will have seized the phone records people sued to keep away from J6C long ago).

Update: Added a third CNN story.

59 replies
    • Silly but True says:

      Roman served as Trump 2020 Director of Election Day Operations, and would have been right in middle of various “schemes.”

      Specifically he is the person who delivered the Michigan & Wisconsin alternate elector certificates from those states’ activists to House Republican Mike Lee with message to get them in Pence’s hands.

      Roman’s only out would be if there was no advance coordination of Trump 2020 campaign with the alternate elector activities of the states. If he can play dumb, he may be able to get out of obstruction conspiracy.

      But then what are chances there was no coordination, or that they did all their coordination via methods that weren’t traceable?

    • Tom R. says:

      It depends on what is meant by “already”. Things are less puzzling if we realize that DoJ is investigating crimes that occurred far from Jan. 6th and far from Capitol Hill. Pence didn’t announce a final decision until Jan. 5th. The criminal conspiracy had been in full swing for weeks before then. In particular, the fake electors signed their fraudulent documents on Dec. 14th. The “Be there, will be wild!” tweet went out on Dec. 19th. Et cetera.

  1. ernesto1581 says:

    So sheep-dip, I read, in the world of data security is the process of using one dedicated device to test for files/viruses on other devices.
    Who knew? I wonder if the sheep here and the parasites aren’t one in the same?
    May be a stampede of les Moutons de Panurge once the devices begin to speak.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      And here I was wondering why our glorious leader EW, living as she is in a land where sheep-dipping can be a common sight, was creating such a bizarre metaphor. Couldn’t see how anything DoJ would do with a phone would resemble immersing an ovine in an insecticidal/fungicidal bath.

      • Fran of the North says:

        I’m particularly pleased that Amy and her daughter Kylie made the cut. Their grift was outrageous, and if memory serves, Amy was spitting tacks that her daughter was deep into her wine bottle on J6.

        Imagine celebrating an insurrection that killed multiple and physically and psychologically injured countless others.

  2. Stacy (Male!) says:

    I give the DOJ all the credit in the world for attempting to grapple with the sheer enormity of the criminal enterprise(s) Trump and his orcs and balrogs were perpetrating non-stop. It is staggering that so many operatives unhesitatingly assumed their roles in the conspiracy without even considering the risks involved. (I’m reminded of Jeb Magruder saying something like: “I don’t think we ever considering NOT having a coverup.”) As a result, there are so goddam MANY criminal rat-fuckers and so many aspects to the various conspiracies that I feel exhausted just thinking about what Justice has to take care of. And that’s on top of the hundreds of J6 gargoyles already being prosecuted! Take it from a retired litigator with 43 years in the trenches, people, this stuff is HARD. I tip my hat to Merrick and his team and to Dr. Wheeler for never losing faith in them!

      • Troutwaxer says:

        I have a certain amount of sympathy for Garland – he has to very carefully play by the rules and the Republicans get to play Calvinball, and of course the problem with Calvinball is that you can’t predict a madman’s next move. What sane DOJ employee would ever imagine Trump telling his attorneys, “just tell the judge all the documents are mine because it’s Tuesday and the wind’s from the west” then also imagine some judge would buy it – even if it wasn’t Tuesday.

        This is why people talk about revolutions instead of trials. Everyone knows the rules don’t apply to Trump, so keeping him out of court and simply… I’ll try to be diplomatic here… imposing a judgement on the man seems very appropriate.

        On the other hand… Garland probably had alternatives. What would you have done in his place?

        • BrokenPromises says:

          “…Everyone knows the rules don’t apply to Trump,…”

          I am honestly exhausted with this and sick to death of hearing it. It is simply a self fulfilling prophecy. It is not real. It is a phantom, an appearance and he has slipped away because of what Stacy (Male!) describes above where the gang that would be of Watergate Nixon level is appropriately tagged as Nazism today. We are in a struggle with a devious criminal political party/movement.
          Now be aware that we are fighting it through all the investigations and search warrants and grand juries from the local, state and federal level.

          • Troutwaxer says:

            Maybe I shouldn’t say “the rules don’t apply to Trump.” Maybe I should say “Our society’s referees don’t apply the rules to Trump.” The certainly do apply to him; the unwillingness of our society’s referees to to apply those rules is why I speak of revolution.

      • PeterS says:

        I think I understand your point about what happened with Reinhart, but since Trump sliced the ball into Cannon’s court* has the DOJ handled things better?

        * is there a word for a metaphor that works like this

        • Rayne says:

          It’s wise to check a site’s About/About Us page before participating in comments. You might want to scroll down at and note who the contributors are at this site; two of them are moderators.

          I’ll let you figure out who those moderators may be.

        • bmaz says:

          Oh, hi there “Stacy Male”. You have been here for eight (8) comments. I have been here about 16 years. Check the “About” page of this blog. That is who I am. And, trust me, I regard you with indifference too. Thanks though!

          As to Garland, I have been quite explicit since he started opening the SW affidavit. Your first comment was months ago though, so I think you are lying.

      • obsessed says:

        Well, I’ll never get back the coffee I just spat out all over my keyboard. Worth it for the laugh though. Based primarily on the bmazian pronouncements found here, I forced myself to grit my teeth and stop hating on … err … whinging about …. Merrick Garland and Lisa Monaco. And now this, just as I was starting to think you may have been right all along? So what aspects and protocols has MG serially f’d up since seeking the MaL search warrant? He should have appealed? He shouldn’t have released any parts of the affadavit? What should and/or shouldn’t he have done?

      • Clare Kelly says:

        I read daily for Marcy’s cogent, erudite analysis.

        Imho, her use of profanity is emphatic and well placed.

        I also appreciate that Rayne (I think) includes Marcy’s tweets.

        I left twitter in Dec and am only ever tempted to check in for @emptywheel, among a few others.

        I’ve yet to see her be uncivil.

        • Kurt K says:

          I deleted my Twitter account, but due to the amount of linked tweets in news articles today it became cumbersome to not be able to read through threads and comments without it prompting me for a login. If you want to view tweets without logging in, there is a Chrome extension that will redirect all twitter links to a mirror site that just shows the tweets. Its called nitter. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the link in a browser and replace the portion with

          • 808HL says:

            I don’t have Twitter either but there is an easy workaround to the join twitter screen obstruction.

            When the join Twitter screen pops up, click on join then close the box that opens. You will then be able to keep reading at some point the join Twitter pops up again, rinse and repeat.

          • skua says:

            Thanks Kurt K.
            There are nittter add-ons for Firefox too.
            And now I’m using one.
            (Unable to address whether these add-ons are a security risk.)

      • Timmer says:

        Clarifcation from by the “monitors”, please. Is there no entity or individual (e.g. Merrick Garland, j6committee, Weissman and other talking head law experts/professor, “norms”, people who have not been here as long as bmaz has, or those of us interested in Dr EW has to say, who are not legal beagles) that/who is not subjected to the mean-spirited, snarky or rude comment from bmaz.
        Most do support the blog and should not have to subjected to bmaz hazing

        [Knock it off. I’m saying this as one of the “monitors” — the term is moderator, by the way. You’re not on topic and not adding constructive material to this thread. If you don’t like the way things operate here, find the exit. /~Rayne]

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Agree. It’s very difficult trying to get one’s head around the epic scope of this fraud and mendacity.

      The phones are intriguing b/c it seems that all these people thought – for years – that what EW might call their ‘sekrit’ phone calls and texts would provide them protection as they enriched themselves via fraud. The scope of the greed really is… breathtaking.

      • cmarlowe says:

        “It’s very difficult trying to get one’s head around the epic scope of this fraud and mendacity.”

        As well as trying to get one’s head around the scope of the investigations which are starting to match the scope of the fraud and mendacity. Like trying to sip water from a fire hose. Thanks to Marcy for helping this not feel like water-boarding.

  3. L. Eslinger says:

    The conformist personalities involved (at least at the foot soldier level) might initially suggest that many of these people will be cooperators in an n-person prisoner’s dilemma game. In a prisoner’s dilemma game, a “cooperator” is a player who makes decisions that will benefit the group, while a defector is one who puts their own interests first.

    However, if they are being advised by attorneys who actually pursue ends that are in their client’s best interest (in contrast to attorneys who are paid by third parties with other interests and goals), a large percentage will adopt the defector strategy and cooperate with the government. DOJ’s mass attack is probably having a powerful psychological effect on these conspirators, which may lead to more and stronger cases against the sociopaths at the top of the organizational pyramid.

    • rip says:

      And if many of the same clients are represented by the same attorneys (and/or firms), how does that complicate the prisoner’s dilemma? Now we also have the attorney’s interests in play, which might be different than each individual client’s.

      • L. Eslinger says:

        It seems like it would be a conflict of interest for an attorney to represent multiple clients in a single (if large and sprawling) case, particularly if one client’s cooperation with the government affects the outcome of other client’s cases.

        To your question, though, while n-prisoner dilemma games begin with a 50-50 outcome, models show the percentage of defectors increasing quickly and dramatically. Maybe this is why lawyers in these comment threads seem to emphasize cooperating early and first in order to negotiate a more agreeable outcome.

  4. Badger Robert says:

    DofJ gets headlines without additional indictments. Its a sound media strategy, but another 60 days will go by quickly.
    Its still difficult to understand why there weren’t indictments when they found the evidence of crimes that they asserted to a magistrate had probably been committed.

  5. Rugger9 says:

    AG Garland has certainly managed to outmaneuver Individual-1’s crack(pot) team of lawyers, and FWIW there don’t seem to be many leaks in the current DoJ either which helps keep the element of surprise.

    Out of this stack of subpoenas I’m a little surprised Garrett Ziegler wasn’t included, since he was the one who let in Team Kraken to undercut Cipollone right before J6. He had to be in on the conspiracy. Likewise, Hannity and Carlson who would run with the preferred media message should be asked about things

    Would the lack of a subpoena to talk potentially mean that a given role player is a target?

    • Tom R. says:

      1) There is no hard-and-fast rule about subpoenaing a target.

      2) As for testimony to the grand jury: According to the Justice Manual, “careful consideration” will be given to whether the witness has a “valid claim of privilege” and “ordinarily” the witness can get out of testifying if they certify that they intend to invoke their privilege. This is DoJ policy, not law.

      3) As for documents: It is easier for DoJ to obtain a subpoena for documents, and it is harder (but not quite impossible) for the recipient to get out of it.

      4) Generally, if they show up with a search warrant rather than a subpoena, that’s a bad sign.

      5) Bottom line: We can’t conclude much from the list of who did or did not receive a subpoena.

  6. Bay State Librul says:

    BMAZ – LOL

    You mean by allowing Judge Cannon to impersonate Judge William Stoughton as in the famous Salem Witch trial?

    Remember how Stoughton admitted as evidence the visits of evil spirits that sent Goody Proctor to the gallows.

    Now Trump and his lawyers have waved another form of “spectral evidence” with their classified information and executive privilege bull shit

    No wonder the Con Man keeps referring to his witch hunts.

  7. teri mccomb says: (this is my clip and if I delete the ?, there’s no direction) Meet Ms. Kylie, Marcy mentions above. She did a segment on Washington Journal Jan. 5th, 2021. She was called out by a Mass. woman who called it sedition. The whole time Kylie promised ‘a spectacular event to MAGA followers. She knew. 100% knew about the coup.

    Rayne: if you need to delete the link? please delete the whole comment. I think it supports why the Feds have subpoenaed her and Mom. ty

    • timbo says:

      “Clinton to this day has not conceded”? Wow, yep, pretty much a lying seditionist Ms. Kylie is. What’s additionally irksome is that the CSPAN moderator lets her get away with such nonsense. C-SPAN was not doing the public much of a service by allowing lying liars like this on their programming.

  8. rip says:

    Since the DOJ are seizing the phones after many months of known investigations, wouldn’t any half-savvy person have taken steps to “clean” their traces well before the subpoenas and seizures?

    Would the government have already obtained the contents of these devices beforehand and are waiting to see if the targets took steps to obstruct the investigation by erasing content? This charge seems to be very powerful and easier to present than a complex per-case charge.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      If I’d been involved in this kind of thing I’ve had used a burner phone and tossed it afterwards, or simply upgraded my old, crappy phone and abandoned some accounts… no idea what happened to the old one. I think I contributed it to the recycling drive.

      That being said, I wonder if the DOJ already has the records and might be looking for someone stupid-enough to dispose of their phone in a fashion which might result in an obstruction charge.

    • P J Evans says:

      The phone companies would have the records of which numbers called which, ant that would connect people, even if it didn’t provide content.

      “We know your number called X’s number at [time] on [date]. Would you like to tell us about it?”

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