What distinguishes the five counties known to have been subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith is that former President Trump and his campaign filed lawsuits to invalidate the 2020 election results in all of them.
The subpoenas, issued last month by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., but only publicly revealed Tuesday, sought communications between election officials in at least five counties and Trump, his 2020 campaign, and multiple attorneys and staffers affiliated with the re-election effort. It is not known if additional counties were subpoenaed but have yet to disclose it publicly.
What the five counties across three states have in common is that Trump filed suit to reverse the 2020 election results in each of them while his allies reportedly contacted officials in several of the areas.
With the exception of Maricopa County, Arizona, the counties are also heavily Democratic counties in key swing states, and Biden won them handily, which is partly why Trump targeted them in the first place. Biden narrowly won Maricopa County.
A recap of what is already publicly known about Trump’s efforts in each of the counties in question:
Wayne County, Michigan
In Michigan’s Wayne County, Trump reportedly called the Republican chairwoman of the county board of canvassers after she initially voted against certifying the local election results.
The Trump campaign had also sued to invalidate results in Wayne County, where Detroit is located. That lawsuit included more than 100 affidavits that were not only ridiculed as absurd in the press but whose incorporation in a subsequent “Kraken” lawsuit led a Michigan federal judge to conclude that they were fraudulent.
Amid a public outcry, Wayne County later went on to certify the election results.
The county was among those where Sidney Powell paid to obtain voting machine data.
Milwaukee County, Wisconsin
The Trump campaign sued to invalidate the results in Milwaukee County in a case brought by attorneys Jim Troupis and Kenneth Chesebro. Subpoenas asked for communications between the county and both of the attorneys.
After the 2020 election, Trump repeatedly demanded that votes in Milwaukee be thrown out. His campaign paid for a recount in the state.
Dane County, Wisconsin
The Trump campaign sued to invalidate the results in Dane County in a case brought by attorneys Jim Troupis and Kenneth Chesebro. Subpoenas asked for communications between the county and both of the attorneys.
Maricopa County, Arizona
Enraged by Fox News’ relatively early call of Arizona for Biden, Trump focused an inordinate amount of energy on Maricopa County in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
His campaign sued to block Biden’s win in the county over a scandal known as “Sharpiegate,” which posited that sharpie ink, bleeding through ballots, had cost Trump his win. His campaign dropped the suit in mid-November.
The Arizona Republic reported last year that the Trump White House tried unsuccessfully to call the chair of the county’s elections commission. Per the paper, Rudy Giuliani left a voicemail to county officials suggesting that they “get this thing fixed up.”
“You know, I really think it’s a shame that Republicans sort of, we’re both in this, kind of, situation. And I think there may be a nice way to resolve this for everybody,” Giuliani reportedly said on the voicemail.
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
The Trump campaign sued after the 2020 election to invalidate mail-in ballots that were cast in Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh. The county saw more than 330,000 mail-in votes cast out of a statewide total of 2.6 million.
That lawsuit was based on a series of fraud claims that, like the rest of them, never came close to panning out. The lawsuit was eventually thrown out of court; Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is facing the loss of his DC law license over his role in filing it.
Sidney Powell, the Trump attorney, also spread wrong information about the county, posting at one point that more than 200,000 ballots in the county had been invalidated. In fact, a state judge ruled that more than 2,000 ballots in the county had to be counted.