Trump bid to ‘corrupt’ Justice Department under spotlight
NNN: Lawmakers investigating last year’s attack on the US Capitol set out Thursday to expose Donald Trump’s efforts to turn the Justice Department into his “personal” law firm as he seeks to overturn his defeat in the US elections. presidential election against Joe Biden.
In the fifth hearing of its year-long investigation into the violence, the House panel will highlight Trump’s attempts to “corrupt the nation’s top law enforcement agency, the Justice Department, to support his bid to nullify the election.” President Bennie Thompson said. he said.
Lawmakers will review tensions in the department the weekend before the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, when Trump faced a riot as he tried to install his own man at the top of the department.
“We will look specifically at how the president was trying to misuse the department to further his own agenda to stay in power at the end of his term,” a committee aide said.
“And we’ll see how that really is different from historical precedent and how the president was using the Justice Department for his own personal means.”
Witnesses will be Jeffrey Rosen, acting attorney general in the last days of the Trump administration, his deputy Richard Donoghue, and Steven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.
Rosen took over the department after Bill Barr resigned, but soon found himself at the center of Trump’s efforts to undermine confidence in the integrity of the election.
Trump began supporting a little-known mid-level department official named Jeffrey Clark, who embraced the outgoing president’s debunked theories about a stolen election.
Clark pressed her colleagues to send letters to several states Biden won, encouraging officials to consider overturning their election results.
‘New streams of evidence’ Trump considered installing Clark as attorney general over Rosen, and having Clark reverse the department’s conclusion that there was no evidence of fraud that could influence the election.
But Trump was forced to back down over a rebellion at the department’s top brass that the committee said he would revive as he brings the public “into the Oval Office” for the dramatic showdown.
At that Jan. 4 meeting, Rosen, Donoghue, Engel and White House counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to resign en masse and warned they would take a host of top federal prosecutors with them if Trump went ahead with his plan.
The panel says it will also reveal how Trump sought to appoint an independent special counsel to pursue his fraud claims, which the department resisted.
“And we will also see how the former president threatened to replace or fire leaders within the DOJ and how, again, some senior Republican officials within the DOJ stood up to the Trump pressure campaign,” the aide said.
The committee is reportedly planning a break from public hearings, meaning Thursday will be the last until hearings resume in July, after Congress’s Independence Day recess.
Thompson told reporters that “significant new evidence streams have necessitated a change in the panel’s hearing schedule, including the possibility of additional hearings.”
The new evidence includes footage from documentary filmmaker Alex Holder, who had access to Trump and his family before and after January 6.
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll offered some insight into how much the hearings are resonating with the public, with 58 percent of respondents saying they had heard of the June 13-16 sessions, and 38 percent saying that at least Some saw or heard.
But while 56 percent of Democratic voters tuned in, only 25 percent of Republicans watched.
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