The investigation being conducted by special counsel Jack Smith into the efforts that former President Donald Trump took to try to stay in office following the 2020 presidential election have stepped up to a new level.
A recent report from The New York Times says that Smith has issued subpoenas to former members of Trump’s White House staff to see if any of them may know more about the former president’s firing of his one-time chief of cybersecurity.
In mid-November of 2020, Trump fired Christopher Krebs only a few days after Krebs released a statement that refuted the false claims Trump was making at the time about election fraud. In that statement, Krebs said that the 2020 presidential election was “the most secure in American history.”
Following the firing, Trump took to Twitter to announce:
“The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud. Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.”
Krebs was the director of CISA in the run-up to the election in 2020, and many people praised the efforts he took to try to protect individual states from foreign influence. That potential influence didn’t ever end up materializing.
Many people also praised Krebs for the “rumor control” efforts that he undertook to help guard against disinformation being spread about the election.
In the wake of Kreb’s firing, there was much public backlash that was hurled at Trump from people who expressed their concerns about democracy under the former president. Now, it’s becoming clear that this firing has become a main focus for Smith as he continues his investigation.
The Times’ report said that the team Smith has conducting the investigation have been talking to various witnesses, asking them what Trump’s mindset was not just at the times of Krebs’ firing, but specifically in relation to what Krebs said as well as the decision-making process that took place in firing the former CISA head.
The investigators are also questioning witnesses about the various ways that members of the Presidential Personnel Office as well as the general White House staff approached the Department of Justice as Trump looked to remain in power following the election.
According to The Times, the subpoenas to some of Trump’s former White House staffers and members of the personnel office were sent out a few weeks ago. Smith’s investigative team is specifically looking into the efforts that a small group of loyalists to the former president from the personnel office took in an effort to test to see whether other federal officials were loyal to Trump or not.
In other words, the close allies of Trump in the personnel office were apparently doing things to see how loyal others in the federal government were to the former president, so they could see who they might be able to leverage to get what they wanted.