For eight long months, the Senate Judiciary Committee investigated Donald Trump, specifically his efforts to pressure his Department of Justice (DOJ) into claiming election fraud and handing him the 2020 election. But the Senate soon discovered that was just the beginning.
Its just-released report explained how the DOJ officials repeatedly held their own against Trump and other administration officials, time and time again under immense pressure from him. The Senate managed the flood of documents, emails, and testimony that surrounded the basic issue. They discovered was yet another coup attempt by the ex-president.
Trump was not acting alone. The way it shook out, Representative Scott Perry (R-PA) asked DOJ attorney Jeffrey Clark to a White House meeting to go over Trump’s repeated requests for an investigation into Rosen. It was an excuse to drop the acting AG.
The president wanted to fire Rosen and replace him with Clark, because this attorney appeared amiable to fulfilling Trump’s desires. That Sunday evening meeting in the Oval Office included Rosen, Donoghue, and Clark. Others there were White House attorney Pat Cipollone, Pat Philbin, Eric Herschmann, and a second Justice Department official, Steve Engel.
The Senate report offered new insights into the part this illegal act played. It was yet another one of the multiple Trump attempts to overthrow the U.S. government.
‘[Trump] opened the meeting by saying “One thing we know is Jeff Rosen leading the Justice Department, nothing is going to get done in trying to overturn the election.”‘
The idea was for the president to tell Clark to implement an investigation into voter results in Pennsylvania. This swing state might flip and help hand Trump the election.
Perry had also brought Donoghue into this meeting. That was when the ex put pressure on the Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to check out the Pennsylvania elections:
‘Perry told Donoghue that Trump had asked him to call and that DOJ hadn’t done its job with respect to the elections. Perry added something to the effect of, “I think Jeff Clark is great. I like that guy a lot. He’s the kind of guy who could really get in there and do something about this.”‘
The report continued:
‘At the end of the call, Perry indicated that he had information about “things going on in Pennsylvania,” including the claim that there were 205,000 more votes than voters. It included several refuted allegations of election fraud in Pennsylvania” such as that some 4,000 voters had cast ballots twice.’
Attorney General Bill Barr contacted U.S. Attorney Byung Pak in Georgia to find out what he could about Giuliani’s voter fraud claims. At that time, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and ordered him to “find 11,780 votes,” the winning number for Georgia.
Trump also put together a letter to send to the Georgia state officials in late December. He wanted them to call a special legislative session about election “irregularities.” Clark told him “no.”
Cipollone called the Georgia letter a “murder-suicide pact” that “will damage anyone and anything that it touches” Donoghue. They talked Trump out of Clark’s plan to install him to replace Rosen.
The Senate report read:
‘Donoghue told us that Trump looked at a piece of paper on his desk and responded “Atlanta, Atlanta, no surprise there. They didn’t find anything. No surprise because we have a never-Trumper there as U.S. Attorney.”‘
Donoghue said Trump was “fixated” on Pak. So he told Trump:
‘I’m not going to fire him. There’s no reason to fire him.’
Pak had not planned to resign on January 4. He wanted to stay on until after the state’s special election on January 5. But Pak was asked to resign at that point. Trump wanted him gone. And gone he was.
That teed up a conversation over who would replace Pak. Trump wanted to buck the tradition of selecting Pak’s deputy and instead chose Bobby Christine, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia:
‘Trump insisted on appointing Christine instead, telling Donoghue something to the effect of, “if he’s good, he’ll find out if there’s something there.”‘
The Senate committee requested documents from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in May. It controls Trump’s documents and has not released communications between the White House and Justice Department officials between the dates of November 3, 2020 and January 20 202.”
The committee noted that:
‘”NARA” has not responded to date, and has represented to the Committee that the delay in transitioning electronic Trump records from the White House to NARA may prevent the Committee from obtaining a response for several more months.’
The committee did not get Clark’s testimony either, even though the Department of Justice okayed it.
The House’s investigation honed in on Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ efforts. The Stop the Steal referred to Trump’s efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s successful win.
Then-acting Attorney General (AG) Jeffrey Rosen and then-acting Deputy General Richard Donoghue said that they would resign should Trump continue down this illegal pathway. They assured him that person after person, well over 100, would quit if the ex continue his attempted coup.
Chair of the Select Committee Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) suggested the Senate report would be useful as a resource document on its own:
‘This report has provided alarming details about the lengths to which the former President and his associates went trying to overturn the 2020 election. I take to heart the recommendations to the Select Committee, and this report will be an important resource as we work to develop the context in which the events of January 6th occurred.’
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.