Donald Trump Criminal Investigation—What We Know So Far

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is honing in on Donald Trump as part of its criminal investigation into attempts to overturn the 2020 election results, according to reports.

The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, said that the DOJ has been asking witnesses in front of a special grand jury about their conversations with the former president, as well as questions about meetings Trump held in December 2020 and January 2021.

Other lines of questioning from the DOJ include Trump's attempts to pressure former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results, and how much involvement Trump had with the scheme to install fake electoral officials to falsely declare he won the election instead of Joe Biden in a number of key states.

Until now, the DOJ had focused its fake electoral investigation on Trump's lawyers, John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani.

trump DoJ election investigation
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the America First Agenda Summit, at the Marriott Marquis hotel July 26, 2022 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The New York Times reported that the DOJ had seized phones from Eastman—who spearheaded a fake election officials scheme—and Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who Trump's inner circle wanted to install as attorney general to support the false claim the election was rigged and send letters falsely claiming there were voting irregularities in certain states.

The DOJ has also received phone records from a number of White House officials from the Trump administration as part of the investigation, including his former chief of staff Mark Meadows in April.

Those who have been questioned about their conversations with Trump include two of Pence's former top aides: ex-chief of staff Marc Short, and the former vice president's lawyer, Greg Jacob, people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.

Short has confirmed that he was interviewed by the grand jury in Washington, D.C., but would not specify the details of the questioning. Short also previously sat for a deposition as part of the House Select Committee's investigation in the January 6 attack.

In March, U.S. District Judge David Carter ruled that Trump "more likely than not" committed a felony in trying to stop the certification of Biden's election victory on January 6, while citing Short and Jacob's communications with Eastman.

The report from The Washington Post is the first indication that Trump's actions are formally under investigation by the DOJ with regards to his attempts to overturn the election results.

There is still no real indication on whether Trump may become the first sitting or former president to be charged with a crime in U.S. history.

The department, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, have been criticized for their apparent slow response in bringing forward criminal charges against those responsible for trying to overturn the last election, especially amid evidence represented by the January 6 Committee.

Just before reports of the DOJ looking into Trump's conduct came out, Garland told NBC Night News that prosecutors will "pursue justice without fear or favor" and will not rule out prosecuting the former president if necessary.

"We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for events surrounding January 6, or any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable," Garland said.

"That's what we do. We don't pay any attention to other issues with respect to that."

Trump has been contacted for comment.