The Jan. 6 committee on Thursday will examine former President Trump’s unprecedented effort to rope the Justice Department into his scheme to hold onto power despite losing the 2020 election.
In the panel’s latest explosive hearing, former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen will detail the ex-president’s push to get him to back outlandish claims of widespread vote fraud — or replace him with a lackey.
“The former president (told) the public that the election was corrupt and stolen,” Rosen said in an opening statement. “That view was wrong then and it is wrong today, and I hope our presence here today helps reaffirm that fact.”
The witnesses, which also include two of Rosen’s top lieutenants, will tell the panel about Trump’s dramatic push to replace Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a MAGA loyalist who wanted to put the full power of the DoJ behind Trump’s election lies.
A report released last year by the Senate Judiciary Committee painted Clark as a relentless advocate for Trump.
Clark, a mid-level environmental lawyer, drafted a letter that would’ve pushing Georgia officials to convene a special legislative session to reconsider the election results. Clark’s superiors at the Justice Department rejected the letter out of hand.
The Republican officials also told Trump there was no evidence of widespread fraud, the same message that former Attorney General Bill Barr delivered before he was ousted weeks earlier.
They warned in a climactic Jan. 3 meeting that hundreds of lawyers would resign en masse if he tried to install Clark as his puppet attorney general.
“You could have a situation here, within 24 hours, you have hundreds of people resigning from the Justice Department,” Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s top deputy, has said he told Trump. “Is that good for anyone?”
The hearing is the fifth this month by the House committee investigating the run-up to the insurrection at the Capitol, when Trump loyalists stormed the building as lawmakers were certifying the results of the election won by President Biden.
After delivering a string of explosive revelations, the committee will pause its hearings till next month when it is expected to turn to the role of white nationalists and other violent extremists in plotting the Jan. 6 attack.
In perhaps its most eagerly awaited disclosures, the panel will also examine Trump’s own failure to do anything to defend the Capitol as the violence unfolded in real-time.
Lawmakers say they have received “mountains” of new evidence, including a British documentary that includes Trump’s own account of his actions on the fateful day, an account he has refused to give under oath to the committee.
With News Wire Services