It appears that the investigation of fundraising activities connected to former President Donald Trump may be “scaling back” after special counsel Jack Smith yanked a subpoena.
Smith reportedly withdrew the subpoena directed at the Save America PAC, a group controlled by Trump, earlier this month, according to The Washington Post which cited “people familiar with the matter.”
“The withdrawal of the subpoena earlier this month indicates Smith is scaling back at least part of his inquiry into the political fundraising work that fed and benefited from unfounded claims that the election was stolen, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing criminal investigation,” WaPo reported Tuesday.
According to the unnamed sources, the group was in the process of gathering the requested records when it was informed that Smith had pulled the subpoena. Prosecutors had reportedly not asked questions about fundraising in recent months, according to four people “with knowledge of the investigation.”
The charges in the federal indictment brought against Trump in August include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. Trump has pleaded not guilty on the charges and the Save America PAC was not even named in the indictment.
The Washington Post noted that both a spokesman for the special counsel and a representative for the PAC declined to comment about the change.
“It is not unusual for prosecutors to cast a broad net in seeking documents at the outset of an investigation,” former federal prosecutor Robert Mintz told the newspaper, adding that the withdrawn subpoena “may simply reflect a pragmatic decision to narrow the scope of the investigation.”
The report comes on the heels of Trump fighting back against a gag order imposed by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan.
“The judge said basically I don’t have the right to speak,” Trump said following the issuing of the order. “My speech has been taken away from me. I’m a candidate that’s running for office, and I’m not allowed to speak.”
Trump’s attorneys filed an appeal Tuesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia.
“The judge said I don’t have a right to speak, and I’m the number one candidate.”
Banana republic! pic.twitter.com/pUcrMe92Vp
— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) October 17, 2023
The Save America PAC was reportedly formed following the 2020 election and raised more than $100 million.
Save America reportedly spent tens of millions of dollars in the legal defense of the former president and has been a “key source of funding not just for political activities, but also for the legal costs associated with the various state and federal investigations that have resulted in four separate indictments of Trump — the election-obstruction case in D.C., a state-level election-obstruction case in Georgia, a classified-documents case in Florida and a state-level case in New York involving a hush money payment in the 2016 election,” WaPo reported.
“A subpoena withdrawal doesn’t mean that a case is closed or that investigators’ interest in the subject has ended, but it does indicate that prosecutors no longer think the information they once demanded is necessary for their work,” the outlet noted. “Nothing prevents Smith’s team from reviving a particular demand for records if they change their minds later.”