Special counsel Jack Smith has indicated that he may be preparing to bring a host of new charges against former President Donald Trump in his federal case alleging election interference, with the latest claiming Trump improperly raised political funds to investigate the voting machines he claimed illegally counted nonexistent votes for President Joe Biden in multiple states.
Invoices obtained by CNN show that Smith is investigating the non-profit of former Trump attorney Sydney Powell, Defending the Republic, which raised funds in the wake of the 2020 election to inspect voting machines in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona, states won by Biden. Powell, who has been charged by Democratic Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis with conspiring to rig voting machines, may fall in the crosshairs of Smith as well.
According to sources close to Smith’s investigation, witnesses have been asked about how Powell’s non-profit raised money to fund various legal challenges by Trump’s team as they sought stays, recounts, and various maneuvers to prevent the certification of electors who they claimed were selected based on fraudulent elections. The invoices obtained by CNN show that Defending the Republic raised and spent millions of dollars toward those ends. Powell has maintained that she did not participate in the illegal accessing of ballot machines in Georgia where she has been charged.
Post-election legal challenges are a common occurrence, and legal defense funds have been a mainstay of presidential campaigns in the past. But the Biden Justice Department’s charging of Powell, President Trump, and dozens of others is an effort to show that these attempts to challenge the results of the election went outside the bounds of protected free speech and legal actions and into illegal territory.
Already, Smith has charged President Trump with producing alternate electors who he claimed could replace those in states where he believed voting machines malfunctioned. Trump famously petitioned former President Mike Pence to delay certification of electors, which he declined to do. As part of his ongoing case against Trump, Smith is using Civil War-era laws to claim the Republican leader used his position to incite a riot on J6 that caused supporters to breach the Capitol.