Justice Dept investigation into Jan. 6 now encompasses communications of allies of Trump

The Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, rioting at the U.S. Capitol, now includes questions for witnesses about the communications of people close to then-President Donald Trump and his reelection campaign, CBS News has confirmed.

That news, first reported by The Washington Post, was confirmed to CBS News by a U.S. government official familiar with the investigation and a source with knowledge of what’s been presented by the Justice Department to a grand jury.

It is not evident that Trump himself is a target of the investigation, only that that prosecutors are asking questions related to him and his aides.

One part of the investigation concerns the efforts to swap out electors won by President Biden in several battleground states for fake electors who supported Trump. Another is examining the actions surrounding Jan. 6, when thousands of Trump supporters, many armed, overran the Capitol on the day that Congress was to count the electoral ballots and affirm Mr. Biden’s victory in the 2020.

According to the source close to the grand jury witnesses, among the topics of interest to federal prosecutors are Trump’s discussions with law professor John Eastman, who came up with the plan to try to involve Vice President Mike Pence in the attempt to keep Trump in power, and the pressure exerted on Pence, who presided over the counting of electoral ballots on Jan. 6.

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