Senior Justice Department officials on Thursday addressed a rally at the White House just days before the January 6 attack on the Capitol, when President Donald Trump considered appointing a loyal person as acting attorney general as part of his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. .
‘Earlier, the president said:’ What should I lose? ” According to Richard Donoghue, a former acting deputy attorney general.
He was one of three former Justice Department officials who appeared before a parliamentary committee investigating the January 6 riots.
They presented evidence of how Trump tried to use the department to pressure key states to change Joe Biden’s victory.
At the heart of it was the plan to install Jeffrey Clark, Trump’s environmentally friendly and loyal lawyer, as head of the department.
The matter was discussed during a heated meeting on January 3 at the Oval Office, when the president asked what he should lose.
Witnesses on Thursday described the ‘fierce’ meeting of the White House on January 3, 2021, when President Donald Trump discussed suspending a loyal person to the head of the Justice Department. Top-level officials said Trump asked: ‘What should I lose?’
Richard Donoghue was the number two acting head of the department during the January 6 ceremonies.
The committee was holding its fifth public rally on Thursday, highlighting the turmoil in the Legal Department as Trump tried to seize power after the 2020 elections.
“And it really was a good opening because I said, Mr. President, you have a big loss,” said Donoghue.
“And I began to tell him what he should lose and what the country should lose and what the department should lose. And this was not for the benefit of anyone.”
He was one of three officials of the Trump administration’s Justice Department who described the unrelenting pressure campaign by the president, who directed them to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.
They said it was a serious violation of the protocol for the president to issue directives to a department that was proud of its independence.
Instead, Trump wanted his head of the department.
Donoghue said Clark ‘was incapable.’
“And it was a warm conversation,” he said. I thought it was important to tell the president that Jeff Clark did not have the skills, abilities and experience to run a department.
‘And so I said, Mr. President, you are talking about putting someone in that chair who has never tried a criminal case, who has never done a criminal investigation.
“He tells you that he will oversee the department with 115,000 employees, as well as the entire FBI, and change the location and conduct crime investigations across the country and will release results in a few days.”
‘Impossible. It is absurd, it will not happen and it will fail. ‘
In other cases, it emerged earlier in the day that Clark’s Virginia home was raided by government investigators Wednesday.
The panel’s hearing was the fifth of this month for a parliamentary committee investigating a coup plot at the Capitol White House, as loyal Trump supporters stormed the building as lawmakers confirmed the results of Biden’s election victory.
Witnesses included the attacked police officers at the Capitol Palace as well as lawyers, the television chief executive and local election officials who all opposed the demand for a change on behalf of Trump.
The committee last week presented a video recording of former Attorney General William Barr, who denounced Trump’s fraudulent allegations and resigned after failing to persuade the president.
Former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue testified before a committee on January 6 on Thursday, highlighting the role of the Justice Department.
Thursday’s talks focused on the role of the Justice Department, as well as a letter prepared by Jeffrey Clark to tell lawmakers in Georgia that the department was concerned about voter fraud in the state, as part of efforts to select an alternative electorate. Trump.
Thursday’s case highlighted what happened after he was replaced by Jeffrey Rosen.
It featured a Donoghue audio clip describing how Trump’s White House attorney warned officials during a January 3 meeting against the Department of Justice’s plan to tell states it was concerned about electoral fraud, describing the draft letter as a ‘suicide bombing agreement. . . ‘
“And Pat Cipollone weighed in at some point and I remember saying, you know, the letter this guy wants to send that letter is a suicide note,” he said.
‘It will ruin everyone who touches it and we should not have anything to do with the letter. I never want to see that letter again. ‘
Earlier sessions focused on how Trump was repeatedly told that he had lost the election.
Thursday’s day highlighted the turmoil in the Justice Department and how Trump talked about promoting Clark to further his own allegations of fraud.
It also included video testimony from former Attorney General Bill Barr, defending his decision to launch a fraud investigation despite limited evidence of wrongdoing.
“Why not follow the usual steps and allow the investigation to take place much later on January 6,” said Representative Liz Cheney as she presented her response.
“I felt the responsibility to do was to be in a position to have an attitude whether there was deception or not.
‘And frankly, I think the fact that I put myself in a situation where I could say that we looked at this and I did not think there was fraud was very important in moving forward.
In a statement issued during the hearing, former Attorney General Bill Barr said he did not think there would be a transition if he did not launch an investigation into electoral fraud, giving him a shot to back up Trump’s allegations.
‘And I’m shocked to imagine what the situation would be like if the department’s position would be,’ ‘We don’t look at this until after Biden’s office.
‘I’m not sure we would have a transition at all.’
The trial began after news broke that government agents had raided Clark’s home a day earlier.
They arrived at his Virginia home early in the morning, according to several reports.
The ally, Russ Vought, who headed the Office of Management and Budget at Trump’s White House, said Clark was forced to stand in the street wearing his pajamas.
‘The new era of legalizing politics is getting worse in the United States,’ ‘tweeted Vought.
‘Yesterday more than a dozen DOJ law enforcement officers raided Jeff Clark’s home in the early-morning raid, put him on the street in his PJs, and confiscated his electronic devices.’
Clark’s lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.
Federal agents reportedly searched the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former Law Department lawyer who former President Donald Trump considered to appoint him attorney general in the days leading up to the January 6 riots as part of an election campaign.
Thursday’s session was the fifth public hearing to be held this month with the committee unveiling the findings of its investigation into the January 6, 2021 riots.
The Justice Department appears to be stepping up its investigation of Trump-backed efforts to cancel the 2020 elections, which culminated in the January 6 uprising.
Thursday’s trial included a debate on a plan to install Clark as acting attorney general, so that the Justice Department would be led by a loyal Trump who would follow up on the fraud allegations.
U.S. Ambassador Scott Perry was among those who pushed Clark during meetings at the White House, according to aide’s testimony.
‘He wanted Mr. Clark – Bw. Jeff Clark should take over the Department of Justice, ‘said Cassidy Hutchinson, former assistant to the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, in a recorded testimony.
The committee also played a video of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Guiliani discussing the qualifications they want for a Justice Department official.
‘Beyond the president, I remember telling people that someone should be supervised by the Department of Justice who is not afraid of what will be done to their reputation. Because the Righteous One was full of people like that. ‘ he said.