Between December 2020 and early January, former President Trump and his allies repeatedly pressured senior Justice Department officials to investigate baseless conspiracy theories and challenge the 2020 election results. , according to documents released by the House Oversight Committee.
Why is this important: The documents reveal new details about the extent to which Trump and his aides – including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows – were willing to go to maintain power and advance the lie that the election was stolen.
Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.
Details: The documents show that on December 14, the day the Electoral College met to certify results in all 50 states, Trump’s aide sent then Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen documents and ” talking points ”on the electoral fraud allegations debunked in Michigan.
40 minutes after sending the email, Trump announced that Attorney General Bill Barr – who disputed the false election claims – would step down and be replaced by Rosen.
Richard Donoghue, then a senior Justice Department official, sent the same documents to US attorneys in the eastern and western districts of Michigan. His promotion to Acting Deputy Attorney General was announced shortly thereafter.
December 29, Trump sent Rosen, Donoghue and Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall a 54-page legal brief demanding that the Supreme Court “declare Electoral College votes cast” in six states Trump lost “cannot be counted “and that a” special election “” must be held in each.
The president’s private attorney, Kurt Olsen, then contacted senior DOJ officials on Trump’s behalf, urging them to file a complaint.
Trump pressured Rosen and then Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Clark to challenge the election results in the Dec.31, 2020 and Jan.3, 2021 meetings, according to emails.
Byung Pak, then U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, resigned on January 3 following pressure from the administration, which was broadcasting videos alleging fraudulent votes in Fulton County.
At least five times, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked DOJ officials to investigate allegations of baseless fraud, including a conspiracy alleging that election data had been altered at Italian facilities at the knowledge of the CIA.
Rosen forwarded one of Meadows’ emails containing a link to a YouTube video about the Italian conspiracy to Donoghue, who replied, “Pure madness.”
Rosen told Donoghue he turned down a request for the FBI to meet with an associate of Rudy Giuliani who was promoting conspiracy theory.
Later that day, Meadows sent Rosen another email about alleged irregularities in Fulton County, Georgia. Rosen forwarded the email to Donoghue again and wrote, “Can you believe it? I will not respond to the message below.
What to watch: The House Oversight Committee has requested that Meadows, Donoghue, Clark, Pak and former Assistant Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian appear for transcribed interviews. The committee had previously requested Rosen’s testimony on May 21.
What they say : “These documents show President Trump attempted to bribe our nation’s main law enforcement agency in a brazen attempt to overturn an election he lost,” said the Speaker of the House. Maloney (DN.Y.).
More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free