A recently filed subpoena by federal prosecutors is demanding the financial documents from several fundraising organisations established by ex-Donald Trump lawyer Sidney Powell as part of a criminal investigation tied to the 2020 election.
The Washington Post reports that the grand jury subpoena was issued in September by the US Attorney's office for the District of Columbia. The filing seeks communications and other documents relating to the fundraising and accounting of several groups, including Texas-based Defending the Republic, and a PAC under the same name.
According to The Washington Post, a source speaking on the condition of anonymity shared details of the probe.
It appears the subpoena may be tied into the larger investigation into the the 6 January attack on the Capitol by supporters of Mr Trump. The Post reviewed the subpoena, noting that Assistant US Attorney Molly Gaston - who is handling the investigation into the 6 January attack - signed the document.
Howard Kleinhendler, an attorney representing Defending the Republic, issued a statement to The Post dismissing the claims against the group as lies and unfounded attacks.
“We have always known the more effective we are, the more the false attacks will intensify. Defending the Republic has and will continue to fight for #WeThePeople who make this country work,” he wrote. “Defending the Republic and the PAC will not be diverted from their missions by lies, innuendo and other distractions. We believe in the law, the Rule of Law, and we intend to follow it and work to reinstate and preserve it.”
The group is also a defendant in a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems, which has sued figures including Ms Powell, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, and Mr Trump's former attorney Rudy Giuliani for billions of dollars.
Ms Powell gained notoriety in the immediate aftermath of the 2020 election for her support of Mr Trump's bogus claim that massive voter fraud cost him the presidency. She became known as the "Kraken lawyer" after claiming she was going to file numerous lawsuits - likening them to a kraken's tentacles - that would overturn the 2020 election. They did not.
During her campaign to fight the election outcome, Ms Powell engaged in fundraising to help fund her efforts. Defending the Republic was one of the groups she used to collect donations.
The site claimed that “over $500,000 must be raised in the next twenty-four hours for these suits to be filed. Millions more will need to be raised to ensure victory.”
It is unclear how much money the group raised, or where the money ultimately went. Campaign donation records show that the group contributed $550,000 to fund the much hyped but ultimately impotent Maricopa County election audit in Arizona.