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Special Counsel Still Scrutinizing Finances of Trump’s PAC

Special counsel Jack Smith’s probe of efforts by Donald Trump and others to subvert the 2020 election remains ongoing — with at least one interview this week that focused on fundraising and spending by Trump’s political action committee.

Meanwhile, the grand jury that indicted Trump last week was spotted meeting Tuesday in the federal courthouse in Washington.

In a closed-door interview on Monday with Bernard Kerik, investigators asked multiple questions about the Save America PAC’s enormous fundraising haul in the weeks between Election Day and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, according to Kerik’s lawyer, Tim Parlatore, who was present for the interview and shared details with POLITICO.

“It’s a laser focus from Election Day to Jan. 6,” Parlatore said.

The special counsel has long been thought to be scrutinizing whether Trump or his PAC violated federal laws by raising money off claims of voter fraud they knew were false. Last week’s indictment of Trump, on charges that he conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 election, did not include any allegations of financial crime.

But the interview with Kerik, a longtime ally of Rudy Giuliani, shows that Smith’s team is still gathering information about how Trump and his allies handled the post-election period, and that investigators’ interest in Trump-related finances continues. Kerik, who served as New York City police commissioner when Giuliani was mayor, helped Giuliani in his efforts to contest the results of the election in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6.

The interview, as described to POLITICO, is the clearest indication of Smith’s focus after last week’s historic indictment and arraignment. While six alleged co-conspirators, including Giuliani, were identified in the indictment, none have been charged. But the continued presence at the courthouse of the grand jury overseeing the matter suggested that additional charges may still be forthcoming.

Months after Trump left office, Giuliani’s allies urged him to use Save America funds to pay Giuliani for his post-election legal work, according to The New York Times.

Parlatore said Smith’s team didn’t ask any questions about Jenna Ellis –– another lawyer who worked on Trump’s efforts to contest the election –– or about Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff in his final days as president. The team did ask a few questions about Boris Epshteyn, a lawyer who worked with Trump after Election Day and who now works on his campaign and as his in-house counsel. And the investigators asked multiple questions about Justin Clark, who was deputy campaign manager of Trump’s re-election bid, Parlatore added.

There was significant tension between Clark and Giuliani over Trump’s strategy of contesting the results in Georgia, where Joe Biden narrowly won. Kerik described to the special counsel’s team a contentious phone call where Giuliani yelled at Clark and called him a liar, Parlatore said.