5 key takeaways from the 5th Capitol riot hearing on January 6 Political news

US legislator Investigate deadly riots A meeting at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, turned its attention to pressure President Donald Trump put on the U.S. Department of Justice to overturn the 2020 election.

House committee held its fifth public meeting on Thursday Hearing this monthagain laying out what it knows about Trump’s efforts to overturn the U.S. presidential election result he lost to Joe Biden.

This time, the hearing focused on Trump’s attempt to get the Justice Department to “legitimize his lies” election fraudsaid panel chair Benny Thompson.

“When these and other efforts fail, Donald Trump tries to replace Mr. [Jeffrey] Acting Attorney General Rosen with an attorney who he believes would inappropriately put the full weight of the Justice Department behind efforts to overturn the election,” Thompson said.

Here are five key takeaways from the fifth public hearing this month:

‘Just say the election is corrupt,’ former U.S. official says Trump told him

The panel featured handwritten notes by former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, in which he quoted Trump as saying: “Just say the election is corrupt and leave the rest to me. and Republican members of Congress.”

Donoghue confirmed to the panel that the statement was entirely a quote from Trump.

Donoghue said the Justice Department looked into various claims but found nothing. fraud This will come close to changing the election result. He added that the department communicated this to Trump.

“There have been individual instances of fraud; none of them came close to questioning the election results in either state,” Donoghue told U.S. lawmakers.

Trump contacts DOJ daily over fraud allegations, Jeffrey Rosen testifies

Former acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testified Thursday that Trump contacted him daily in the weeks leading up to the Capitol riots and “claimed that he didn’t think the Justice Department was doing enough” to investigate his falsehoods about voter fraud. accusation.

“From Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, the president called or met with me almost every day, with one or two exceptions, like Christmas,” Rosen said. appoint In the final days of the Trump administration, told the committee.

Rosen said Trump raised the prospect of creating a special counsel for election fraud, meeting with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, filing a lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court and making a public statement on the fraud allegations.

“I would say that the Department of Justice rejected all of these requests…because we don’t think they are appropriate based on what we understand of the facts and the law,” Rosen said.

Former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testifies before a House panel on Thursday [Jim Bourg/Reuters]

Trump’s team offers to appoint Jeffrey Clark as attorney general to overturn vote

The panel said it had been reviewing efforts to appoint former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general to help overturn the election.

Lawmakers and witnesses argued that Clark was ineligible for the position and was only advised because he would support Trump’s fraud charges.

In a video of his testimony to the committee, Giuliani said: “I do remember saying to people that someone should be in charge of the Justice Department, and he’s not afraid of how their reputation will be affected.”

Donoghue said Clark was mentioned by Republican Congressman Scott Perry of Pennsylvania on a Dec. 27 conference call in which Perry raised claims of voter fraud in the state. “At the beginning of the call, Congressman Perry said he was calling at the request of the president,” Donoghue told the panel.

“He said something along the lines of, ‘I think Jeff Clark is great, I think he’s the kind of guy who can go in there and do something for these things.’ It was on the president’s phone earlier in the day in the afternoon. What happened after Mr Clark was mentioned.”

Donoghue also testified Thursday that Trump appeared to threaten to fire him and Acting Attorney General Rosen for refusing to support his baseless allegations of election fraud. “He said, ‘People are telling me, I should get rid of you two. I should fire you, change leadership, put Jeff Clark in and maybe something will be done eventually,'” Donoghue said.

He recalled telling Trump in response: “Mr. President, you should have the leadership you want, but understand what the U.S. Department of Justice does in terms of facts, evidence, and law.

“And none of that will change, so you can have whatever leadership you want, but the department’s position won’t change.”

Clark’s efforts to remove core draft of Trump’s election defeat: panel

A draft letter from Clark and his advisor Ken Klukowski, lie about electoral fraud The heart of Thursday’s hearing came in documents that were supposed to be submitted to the Georgia legislature.

“If this letter were published on the official Department of Justice letterhead, it would falsely inform all Americans, including those who may be inclined to come to Washington on January 6, that President Trump’s allegations of electoral fraud may be very real, ‘ said a joint spokesman for the committee. – Chairman Liz Cheney said.

Donoghue said Clark emailed him and Rosen a draft letter on Dec. 28. “It’s too extreme for me [that] I had a hard time understanding it at first,” Donoghue testified.

Donoghue said he told Clark, “If the department integrates itself into the political process in this way…there will be serious consequences for the country. It could very well have us in a constitutional crisis and I want to make sure he understands the seriousness of the situation.” “.

Clark declined to say whether he discussed his draft Justice Department letter with Trump. In a video of his testimony to the committee, Clark invoked the Fifth Amendment and “executive privilege” to avoid answering questions.

“The fifth item and executive privilege are reiterated, just out of an abundance of caution,” he told the panel.

January 6
Representative Liz Cheney speaks at the fifth public hearing on the January 6 attack on June 23 [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

GOP lawmakers ask for pardon: ex-Trump White House official

Cassidy Hutchinson, former aide to the former White House chief of staff Mark Meadowstold the committee in an interview that Republican congressmen Matt Gates and Mo Brooks “advocated for a full pardon on Jan. 6.”

“Mr. Gates personally pushed for the pardon, and he’s been doing it since early December. I don’t know why,” Hutchinson told the panel, according to a video of her testimony played at Thursday’s hearing. “Mr. Gates has contacted me to ask if he can meet with Mr. Meadows about obtaining a presidential pardon.”

Asked if other lawmakers had reached out to her about the pardon, Hutchinson said Congressmen Andy Biggs, Louie Gomert and Scott Perry had done the same. Congressman Jim Jordan “talked about a congressional pardon, but he never asked me for a pardon. More of an update on whether the White House will pardon congressmen,” she said.

Hutchinson added that congresswoman Marjorie Taylor GreenTop Trump ally, petitioning White House counsel for a pardon.

“The only reason I know of asking for a pardon is because you think you have committed a crime,” House committee member Adam Kinsinger said Thursday.

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