The particular congressional committee investigating the January 6 riots on the Capitol targeted its fifth day of public testimony on former President Donald Trump’s makes an attempt to control the Division of Justice after federal investigators discovered no proof of election fraud.
Three former officers, together with former Appearing Legal professional Normal Jeffrey Rosen, testified throughout Thursday’s listening to a couple of tense standoff on the White Home weeks after the November 3, 2020 presidential election.
Consultant Benny Thompson, the committee’s chair, stated Trump “not only wanted the Department of Justice to investigate, he wanted the Department of Justice to help legitimize his lies.”
Witnesses stated Trump, angered when the Justice Division failed to search out any benefit for his unfounded allegations of election fraud, sought to exchange Rosen with Assistant Legal professional Normal Jeffrey Clark.
The fee supplied a draft letter that Clark wrote addressed to Georgia’s legislative leaders, which falsely hinted at potential voter fraud in key states even after investigators discovered no proof.
“Had this letter been issued on official Justice Department letterhead, it would have wrongly informed all Americans — including those who might be tempted to come to Washington on January 6 — that President Trump’s allegations of election fraud were likely very true,” the consultant stated. “. Liz Cheney, Vice Chair of the Committee.
The only thing that thwarted Trump’s scheme, according to witnesses Thursday, was the threat of mass resignations by top lawyers in the Justice Department and the White House counsel’s office.
Here are the highlights from the fifth day of the hearing:
Trump: Leave the rest to me
At the start of Thursday’s hearing, Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger said pressure on federal officials was part of Trump’s “final trench scheme” to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden because the 2020 election winner.
Kinzinger stated the previous president needed the Justice Division to lend “credibility to the conspiracies” by declaring the election “corrupt” and said the rest should be “leaved to me and the Republican members of Congress.”
Clark’s aides said he wanted to help Trump
It was Clark who suggested telling six swing states that alternate electors should be sent to Congress to support Trump, Eric Hirschman, Trump’s former White House attorney, said in video testimony.
Other Trump aides described how Clark wanted to become attorney general for the sole purpose of helping Trump oust the election results. One described his draft letter supporting false allegations about the 20202 election as a “homicide and suicide pact.”
more: The Federal Reserve comes down to the home of Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department official at the heart of Trump’s efforts to nullify the election
Rosen witnesses how the Ministry of Justice resisted
During Thursday’s personal questioning, Rosen described how Trump daily in the days leading up to January 6 denounced his frustration with the Justice Department for not supporting his allegations of voter fraud.
Among other things, he said, the former president wanted the agency to appoint a special counsel, meet with lawyers for his re-election campaign, and file a lawsuit with the US Supreme Court.
“The Division of Justice denied all of those requests…as a result of we didn’t consider they had been applicable primarily based on the details and the regulation as we understood them,” Rosen said.
Unauthorized meeting with Trump
Rosen said Clark also violated Justice Department rules by having a one-on-one meeting with Trump just before Christmas.
“You did not inform me, it wasn’t approved, and also you did not inform me till after the incident,” Rosen told Clark on December 26, according to his testimony. “This isn’t applicable.”
Arsenal of allegations for hours
Former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue told the committee that Trump spent hours with Justice Department officials in January throwing out an “arsenal of allegations” of election fraud that he wants to address.
Donoghue said Thursday that he has evaluated the details of each claim made by Trump, and has been “very frank” about how untrue those claims are. He said there had been “particular person incidents of fraud”, but there was nothing close to “disputing the result of the elections in any particular person nation”.
January 6 Commission Guide: Has the January 6 commission sat down to consider the explosive evidence of Trump’s role in the Capitol attack?
House Republicans played a role
One new wrinkle at Thursday’s hearing was Kinzinger’s naming of Republican members of Congress who he alleged tried to help Trump overturn the election.
The special committee played clips of GOP lawmakers who repeated false allegations about the contest, including Representative Louis Johart of Texas, who claimed there was “intensive proof of fraud.”
It also showed text messages from Representative Scott Perry, Republican of Pennsylvania, to Trump administration officials, specifically Chief of Staff Mark Meadow, pressing the White House to raise Clark within the Justice Department.
Allegations by members of Congress about Pennsylvania have been exposed
Perry also had a conversation with Donoghue claiming that more votes were ratified by the Pennsylvania Secretary of State than were cast.
Donoghue told the commission that federal prosecutors looked into the allegations and found “no foundation for concern” within days. He said the number of votes cast was incomplete because four districts had not yet uploaded their voter data.
Clark launched his own investigation
Donoghue said he had a “controversial assembly” with Clarke over his draft letter supporting Trump’s false allegations, saying they were “not primarily based on details.”
He said it was shocking to learn that Clark launched his own investigation even after federal authorities decided it was unfounded.
The committee then offered recorded testimony to Clark invoking his Fifth Amendment rights when asked about draft letters to Georgia officials to nullify the ratified election.
Trump wanted to confiscate voting machines
Rosen said Trump called a last-minute meeting with Justice Department leaders on New Year’s Eve. He said the president was upset when he refused to confiscate voting machines from the states.
“We haven’t seen anything inappropriate with voting machines,” Rosen said.
Witnesses said an Italian conspiracy theory engulfed the White House.
Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, has asked the Justice Department to investigate a video claiming that an Italian defense contractor uploaded software to a foreign government’s satellites that altered votes to Biden in the United States, which officials quickly debunked.
Trump embraced the idea, which was also pushed by Representative Scott Perry, of Pennsylvania, according to the committee.
Donoghue called it “pure insanity.”
A new leadership sought for the Ministry of Justice
It was around this time that Trump began rolling out the idea of firing senior Justice Department leaders.
Donoghue said he told the president that replacing them would not change the outcome of their investigations or the 2020 election.
“The US Division of Justice is working on the idea of details, proof and regulation, and these won’t change,” he said. “So, you may have any management you need, however the division’s place will not change.”
Policy: Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger said Jan. 6 committee members are receiving increased threats of violence
more: Representative says Trump pressured election officials
Clark job offer AG
Rosen said that during the January 2 meeting, Clark informed him that the president had offered him the position of acting attorney general and that he would accept.
He said he reprimanded Clark for being rebellious.
“I wasn’t going to accept my subordinate being fired from my job, so I wanted to speak to the boss directly,” Rosen said.
Mass resignations threatened
Each of the witnesses told the commission that if Clark was hired, hundreds of lawyers in the Justice Department and the White House Counsel’s office would leave their jobs.
They described a heated conversation with Trump, who asked “What do I’ve to lose?”
Stephen Engel, who was the assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, said he had warned the president that the story would be a “Jeff Clark catastrophe” and that he would be left “main a cemetery.”
At the conclusion of Thursday’s hearing, the committee provided testimony from former White House and Trump campaign aides who said that some Republican lawmakers — such as Rep. Matt Gates, of Florida and Andy Bigs, of Arizona — requested a presidential pardon in the days after the .6 attacks.
On January 11 in an email offered to the committee, Representative Moe Brooks of Alabama recommended pardoning “each congressman and senator who voted to disclaim Electoral Faculty vote requests in Arizona and Pennsylvania.”
Trump considered a “complete pardon” for all these concerned on January 6, in keeping with former aides.
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Miss Day 5 from the January 6 session? A plan to overthrow the Ministry of Justice