New details of Trump’s pressure on the Justice Department over the election

But, particularly on interviews with Mr. Rosen and Mr. Donoghue, both of whom were in the Oval Office meeting on January 3, it brings to light new details that underscore the intensity and relentlessness with which Mr. The goal pursued was the end of the election, and the role that key government officials played in their efforts.

  • The report highlights the role of Jeffrey Clark, a little-known Justice Department official who participated in several conversations with Trump about how to proceed with the election, and who sent his superiors a letter to Georgia officials. In which the Justice Department falsely claimed. Identified “significant concerns that could affect the outcome of the election.” Mr Trump was weighing whether to replace Mr Rosen with Mr Clark. Of particular note was the January 2 confrontation during which Mr. Clark threatened and coerced Mr. Rosen to send letters to Mr. Rosen. He first raised the possibility that Mr. Trump might sack Mr. Rosen, and then said he would reject any offer to replace Mr. Rosen as acting attorney general if Mr. Rosen sent the letter. Mr Clark also disclosed during that meeting that he had secretly conducted a witness interview in connection with allegations of electoral fraud in Georgia that had already been disproved.

  • The report raised new questions about what role Republican Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania played in the White House’s effort to pressure the Justice Department to help stall the election. The report said that Mr. Perry called Mr. Donoghue to pressure him to investigate allegations of election fraud made in Pennsylvania, and he complained to Mr. Donoghue that the Justice Department was not doing enough to look into such claims. Has been doing. The report said Mr Clark also told officials that he had participated in White House efforts at Mr Perry’s request, and that legislators took him to a meeting in the Oval Office to discuss voter fraud . The meeting took place around the same time that Mr Perry and members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus met at the White House to discuss January 6 certification of the election results.

  • The report confirmed that Mr Trump was the reason Mr Pak hastily left his role as US lawyer in Atlanta, an area Mr Trump wrongly told people he had won. Mr Trump told top Justice Department officials that Mr Pak was never a Trumper, and blamed Mr Pak for the FBI’s failure to find evidence of massive election fraud. During the January 3 battle in the Oval Office, Mr Donoghue and others tried to persuade Mr Trump not to sack Mr Pak, as he had planned to resign within days. But Mr Trump made it clear to officials that Mr Pak was to leave the next day, causing Mr Donoghue to call him that evening and say he should resign pre-emptively. Mr Trump went outside the usual line of succession to pursue Bobby L. Christine, an alleged loyalist, to run for Atlanta office. Mr Christine was the US attorney in Savannah, and had donated to Mr Trump’s campaign.

The report is not the last word from the Senate Judiciary Committee on the pressure campaign, which was waged between December 14, when Attorney General William P. Barr had announced his resignation, and on January 6, when Mr Trump’s supporters struggled to block the certification. Election.

The panel is still waiting to submit documents from the National Archives, calendar appointments and White House communications related to efforts to sabotage the election. It asked the National Archives, which archives correspondence and documents generated by previous presidential administrations, for records this spring.

It is also waiting to see if Mr Clarke will sit down for an interview and help provide the missing details about what was happening inside the White House during the final weeks of the Trump administration. Additionally, the committee has asked the Washington DC Bar Association to launch a disciplinary investigation into Mr. Clark based on its findings.

The report recommends that the Justice Department tighten procedures regarding when it can take some explicit steps in investigating election fraud. As attorney general, the report said, Mr. Barr undermined the department’s decades-long strict policy of not taking investigative action in fraud cases until the election was proven, a measure that would prevent the fact of the federal investigation from swaying. is to stop. election result.

The Senate panel found that Mr. Barr personally demanded that the department investigate the allegations of voter fraud, even though other officials had looked into them and found no evidence of wrongdoing. These allegations included the claim of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer and a key force behind the baseless election fraud allegations, that he had a tape showing Democratic election workers kicking their Republican counterparts from a polling station. and fraudulently add votes for Joseph. R Biden Jr. on the count.

Mr. Pak testified that Mr. Barr asked him to look into that claim and directed the FBI to interview a witness about the case, even though the Georgia Secretary of State considered the tapes without merit.

On December 1, just two weeks before saying he would step down, Mr. Barr said the Justice Department had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud to replace the fact that Mr. Biden had won the presidency. .

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