- A new Senate Judiciary Committee report details Trump’s ‘relentless’ against the Justice Department.
- A controversial January 3 meeting in the Oval Office warned of mass resignations of DOJ officials.
- It describes attempts to advance baseless voter fraud claims as a ‘murder-suicide pact’.
On the day Attorney General William Barr stepped down in late December, then-President Donald Trump and top White House aides launched a “relentless” campaign aimed at interim Justice Department leaders, including acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, to reverse the results. pressure campaign started. for the 2020 election, according to a new Senate committee report.
The effort included nine calls and meetings with Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, contacts that involved “near-daily outreach” to the department, a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation found. The White House push continued until the deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6, when a crowd of Trump supporters sought to block Congress’s certification of President Joe Biden’s election.
Among the committee’s findings are efforts by then-acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, who repeatedly sought to “inspire Rosen to help with Trump’s election sabotage plan” by telling Rosen that he would reject Trump’s proposal. Will do that if Rosen agrees to join, he will replace Rosen. election fraud scheme
The report also provided confirmation that Mark Meadows, who then served as Trump’s chief of staff, “on several occasions” pressured Rosen to launch an election fraud investigation, “in DOJ law enforcement matters at the White House.” violated the long-standing ban on interference.”
Reportedly, Meadows attempted to push Rosen to meet with Trump’s outside attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who has been running parallel legal campaigns in the courts where he dismissed voter fraud charges in several states.
DOJ, White House officials threaten to resign
The report includes a dramatic replay of a controversial January 3 Oval Office meeting in which Donoghue warned that justice officials and federal prosecutors would face charges if Trump moved to replace Rosen with Clark to aid the president’s election sabotage plan. There will be mass resignation.
According to testimony provided by Donoghue and Rosen, the resignations will not be limited to the Justice Department. During the three-hour meeting, officials said, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Deputy Counsel Patrick Philbin also threatened to tender their own resignations, allegedly calling Clarke’s efforts to call baseless voter fraud allegations “murder-suicide.” referred to as the treaty”.
After the meeting, Rosen and Donoghue learned they prevailed in an email from another justice official: “I have only limited visibility into this, but it seems that Rosen and the cause of justice won out,” the email said. Is. “When Jeff (Rosen) is back in the building (hopefully soon). Thank you.”
Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said, “Today’s report shows the American people how close we have come to a constitutional crisis. Thanks to the many savvy Americans at the Justice Department, Donald Trump was unable to give the department his approval.” Bend at will. But it was not because of lack of effort. Donald Trump would have broken the Constitution to stay in power.”
The Senate report builds on the findings of a House committee, which in July disclosed emails and other communications detailing similar efforts by Trump to co-opt justice officials. According to the notes of a December 27 telephone call with Rosen, Trump urged the acting attorney general to make a public statement falsely claiming that “the election was corrupt.”
According to handwritten notes taken by Donoghue, Trump said during the phone call, “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and R Congressmen.”
Trump persisted, even though Barr had publicly stated before his departure on December 23 that justice had found no evidence of widespread fraud that would have changed the results.
Report calls for William Barr to direct investigation into election
However, the Senate report also employed Barr to “aggressively” direct the officials to claims of election fraud allegedly deviating from a “decades-long practice” in which Justice ruled out any presence of election interference. avoided.
Citing a November 9 memo, the report concluded that the bar “directly contradicts the DOJ’s long-standing policy against openly investigating allegations of election fraud before election results are certified.”
“Accordingly, Barr authorized a pre-certification investigation ‘if there are clear and clearly credible allegations of irregularities which, if true, could potentially affect the outcome of a federal election in an individual state’ – and asked prosecutors to “address timely and appropriately. Allegations of voting malpractices so that all the American people… have full confidence in the results of our elections.” “
Barr’s memo upset an already shaky department, prompting the resignation of Justice’s election crime branch chief.
According to the report, Barr directed the FBI to interview witnesses “about allegations that election workers at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena secretly tabulated suitcases filled with illegal ballots.”
“These claims were pushed by Giuliani in a Georgia Senate hearing and had already been rejected by the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State until Barr had the requested interview,” the report said.