WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s investigation of the Jan. 6 attack ratcheted up Wednesday as federal agents dropped subpoenas on people in at least two states, in what appeared to be a widening probe of how political activists supporting former president Donald Trump tried to use invalid electors to thwart Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
Agents conducted court authorized law enforcement activity Wednesday morning at two locations, FBI officials confirmed to The Washington Post. One was the home of Brad Carver, a Georgia lawyer who allegedly signed a document claiming to be a Trump elector. The other was the Virginia home of Thomas Lane, who worked on the Trump campaign’s efforts in Arizona and New Mexico. The FBI officials did not identify the people associated with those addresses, but public records list each of the locations as the home addresses of the men.
Separately, at least some of the would-be Trump electors in Michigan also received subpoenas on Wednesday, according to a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The precise nature of the information being sought by the Justice Department wasn’t immediately clear; however, Arizona and Georgia officials testified Tuesday to a House panel probing the Jan. 6 attacks about attempts by Trump and his inner circle of advisers to try to reverse Biden’s Electoral College victories in those states.
Officials have previously said that the Justice Department and FBI were examining the issue of false electors, who Trump and others hoped might be approved by state legislators in a last-ditch bid to keep Trump in the White House. Until now, however, those investigative efforts seemed to primarily involve talking to people in Republican circles who knew of the scheme and objected; the subpoenas issued Wednesday suggest the Justice Department is now moving to question at least some of those who allegedly agreed to pursue the effort.
FBI agents delivered a subpoena to Lane Wednesday morning at his home in Virginia, according to the person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. After leaving the Trump campaign, Lane has worked for the Republican National Committee’s election efforts in Virginia, this person said. Public records list an address for Lane in South Arlington, Va., and an FBI spokeswoman confirmed agents conducted “court-authorized law enforcement activity” at that address on Wednesday morning.
Phone messages left for Lane were not immediately returned. Carver, the Georgia lawyer, also did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
The new investigative moves by the Justice Department come amid a series of high-profile congressional hearings examining not just the riot at the Capitol, but also Trump’s efforts to undo Biden’s electoral victory through fake electors, lobbying the Justice Department, and false claims of massive voter fraud.
Lawmakers on the House select committee will hold a hearing Thursday featuring testimony from former Justice Department officials.