Federal prosecutors are reportedly seeking records related to fundraising groups launched by former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell after the 2020 presidential election in connection with a criminal investigation.
The Washington Post, citing documents and a person familiar with the investigation, reported on Tuesday that the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia issued Powell a grand jury subpoena in September requesting that she hand over communications and other records related to fundraising efforts and accounting by organizations she helped lead.
Those groups include Defending the Republic, an organization that contends to be a nonprofit based in Texas, and a PAC that goes by the same name, according to the Post.
Prosecutors are reportedly interested in examining documents dating back to Nov. 1, 2020.
Powell, who helped spearhead former President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential race, started asking for donations from Trump supporters just one week after the election was held, according to the Post.
She was directing proponents of her cause to Defending the Republic’s website, where supporters could donate to “Sidney Powell’s Legal Defense Fund,” which involved writing checks to Sidney Powell P.C., her law firm, the Post reported.
On Dec. 1, 2020, Defending the Republic was officially incorporated as a Texas-based business, according to the Post. Powell was reportedly registered as the group’s agent and director.
A May filing argues that Powell “treated the entity’s funds as her personal funds, redirecting them to the law firm she controls and dominates and raiding them to pay for her personal legal defense,” according to the Post.
Brandon Johnson, a representative for the organization, testified at a deposition in August that he was not aware of financial contributions made before Dec. 1, saying, “I don’t know where they went, but they did not go to Defending the Republic,” according to the Post.
Powell last year, however, said during an appearance on “The Rush Limbaugh Show” that the group was “working to help defend all these cases and to defend me now that I’m under a massive attack from the attorney general of Michigan and the city of Detroit and everything else,” the Post noted.
A spokesperson for the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia told The Hill that the office does not confirm the existence of investigations and declined to comment.
The Hill reached out to Powell for comment.
The Post wrote that while it is not clear how much money Defending the Republic raked in and spent since it was incorporated, records do show that the group funneled $550,000 to finance a GOP-led review of almost 2.1 million ballots cast in Arizona during the presidential election.
Defending the Republic projects that it will receive slightly more than $7 million in revenue from donations in the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, the Post reported, citing an estimated budget submitted to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services this summer.
The group created the budget estimate after a state complaint claimed that it breached a number of laws in Florida, according to the Post. The organization ultimately paid $10,000 to resolve the matter.
Powell and Defending the Republic are also under scrutiny in a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems. Powell and other proponents of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election claimed that the voting machine company was part of a plot to tamper with the outcome and hand then-Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York woman arrested after allegedly spitting on Jewish children Former Sen. Donnelly confirmed as Vatican ambassador Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE a victory.
The defendants rejected those claims in a counterclaim filed in September, according to the newspaper.