Hearing Jan. 6, key Takeaways From Thursday's Hearing featuring Ex-Doj Officials

Thursday, June 23, 2022
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Trump Recruited the Justice Department to Overturn the 2020 Election

It's not exactly clear how Trump recruited the Justice Department to try to overturn the 2020 election‚ but there's a strong suspicion that the President-elect had a hand in the alleged fake elector scheme. Former Justice Department official Steven Engel has said he's very upset about the scandal and wants to get to the bottom of it. In fact‚ Rosen is under investigation for his role in the fake elector scheme.

Before the House Select Committee investigating the January 6‚ 2021 insurrection‚ three former Justice Department employees threatened to quit if they didn't help Donald Trump win the 2020 election. The fifth of a series of ongoing public hearings featured Jeffrey Rosen‚ ex-acting Attorney General‚ and Richard Donoghue‚ acting Deputy Attorney General. Steven Engel was an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel under Trump. He recalled how Trump tried to destroy the Constitution.  During his last weeks at the White House‚ he used the department to spread false allegations of voter fraud and undermine the outcome of the 2020 election. Following opening remarks by committee chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)‚ Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) took charge of questioning witnesses and presented evidence about Trump's pressure campaign to the Justice Department. The only Republican members are Cheney and Kinzinger. These were the shockingest revelations. Witnesses were sworn in before the U.S. House Select Committee for Investigating the January 6 Attack On the United States Capitol. This took place during the hearing at Capitol Hill‚ Washington‚ U.S.A‚ June 23‚ 2022. (Mandel Ngan/Pool via Reuters) Engel and Rosen The president requested that the Justice Department file a lawsuit alleging fraud widespread in the election‚ because Trump's lawyers were not challenging the outcome of the election in court. Engel stated that Trump had sent to the department leaders a draft of a lawsuit prepared by outside lawyers. Engel stated that it was an ineffective lawsuit and that the department was unable to bring the case. Engel also said that the plaintiff didn't understand the law‚ nor how the Supreme Court works‚ or the Department of Justice. Engel stated that he was being asked to create a memo explaining the reasons why the DOJ does not have standing to file such a suit. Jeffrey Rosen is a former acting Attorney General. The House Select Committee investigating the attack on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol continues its year-long investigation. It will be addressing the Capitol in Washington Thursday June 23rd 2022. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP) Engel said that he had asked his lawyer for legal advice in December 2020 about whether the former Attorney General Bill Barr could appoint Louisiana’s state attorney general to be a special counsel to investigate election fraud. Engel found that Louisiana law prohibited the state attorney general of accepting such an appointment. Barr also stated publically before leaving office that he wouldn't be appointing special counsel to investigate election fraud. The department did not have any evidence. Rosen assumed the position of acting attorney general after Barr left. He said Trump had also brought up the topic of Trump appointing special counsel. Kinzinger stated that Trump had promised to give the job to Sidney Powell as his campaign lawyer. She also presented a clip from Powell's deposition where she claimed that Trump asked Powell to be special counsel. According to Powell‚ he was frustrated at the inability of any government agency to enforce law. Powell was a proponent of many bizarre conspiracy theories‚ including those about foreign interference and rigged voting machines‚ that were not supported by any evidence. Steven Engel‚ former Assistant Attorney General‚ observes during the fifth hearing of U.S. House Select Committee on Investigating the January 6 Attack On the United States Capitol. The event took place on Capitol Hill‚ Washington‚ U.S.A‚ June 23‚ 2022. (Jim Bourg/Reuters) The testimony on Thursday was largely about how Trump‚ having repeatedly been denied by Rosen and senior Justice Department officials his request to legitimize fraudulent election fraud claims‚ sought to have a loyalist appointed as his acting attorney general. The meeting took place at the White House Jan. 4‚ 2021. Trump threatened to fire Rosen and replace his with another Justice Department official‚ who was once the Acting Head of Justice Department's Civil Division and Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division. What is the secret to how President Trump even knows Mr. Clark? Rosen stated that he was curious when Trump mentioned Clark's name for the first time. Kinzinger stated that Clark was an environmental lawyer without any relevant experience leading the Department of Justice. He had introduced him to Trump by Scott Perry (R-Pa) and made it clear that he would use the DOJ in order to assist Trump with his victory. Rosen claimed that Clark had told him about Trump's offer of Rosen's job. This prompted the acting attorney General to schedule a meeting the next day with Trump. Engel and Donoghue threatened to quit‚ but Trump eventually agreed to rescind the plans to put Clark in his place. Donoghue claimed that he had spoken to several senior DOJ officials before the meeting and told Trump‚ "Mr. President‚" that he would have to notify Trump within 24 hours‚ 48‚ or 72 hours about his actions. Is this going to speak volumes about you? FILE: Jeffrey Clark (then-Assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division) speaks at a Washington news conference on September 14‚ 2020. The Virginia residence of a Trump-era Justice Department official‚ who supported efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 elections has been searched by federal agents. (Susan Walsh/Pool via AP Clark offered to write a letter that he had written to Georgia's state legislature. It stated without any evidence that the DOJ raised serious concerns regarding the validity of the outcome of the Georgia election and in several other states. Rosen and Donoghue previously declined to sign the same letter. It urged the Georgia Legislature convene an extra legislative session in order to form a slate of Donald J. Trump supporters. Donoghue stated that he was compelled by Clark's Dec. 28 2020 email to him to reply immediately to clarify that Clark was not involved in the election outcome. These statements were contrary to what the facts stated. Clark was contacted by Donoghue in an email. He stated that such a correspondence could have serious consequences and may have led to a constitutional crisis. Clark refused to cooperate with the committee. He reportedly used the Fifth Amendment over 100 times in a deposition following December's panel vote to refer Clark for criminal contempt. Multiple reports claim that federal agents raided Clark's house in advance of Wednesday's hearing. However‚ the reason for the search was not immediately known. A portion of a letter written by Jeffrey Clark can be seen during the House Select Committee hearing‚ June 23rd 2022.

justice department steven engel jeffrey rosen donald trump richard donoghue adam kinzinger white house president liz cheney sidney powell bennie thompson attorney general 2020 election office of legal counsel hearing jan 6 key takeaways from thursday s featuring ex doj officials

(House TV) Cheney stated that the committee had evidence to show that multiple Republican members sought pardons from President Obama in light of Jan. 6th. At Thursdays hearing‚ the committee presented some of that evidence‚ including an email that Rep. Mo Brooks‚ of Alabama.‚ sent to the White House on Jan. 11‚ 2021‚ inquiring about a pardon for himself‚ Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz‚ and the. There are 147 republican congressmen who voted against the Arizona and Pennsylvania electoral college votes submissions. Also‚ the committee showed clips from depositions where former White House officials including Cassidy Hutchinson (an aide to Mark Meadows) testified that they received requests for pardons form Republican lawmakers. Hutchinson stated that in addition to Brooks‚ Gaetz and Perry‚ Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs also requested a pardon. Hutchinson said also that Jim Jordan‚ an Ohio Representative‚ had asked whether Trump would issue pardons to members of Congress. However‚ he did not personally request one. Although Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) had never contacted her to request a pardon‚ she testified that Greene had spoken with the White House Counsel's Office and received a pardon form [deputy counsel Pat Philbin]. Part of the video presentation at the House Select Committee hearing‚ June 23rd 2022. (House TV)

Who were the witnesses?

Similar to previous hearings by the committee‚ Thursday's presentation included both live and recorded testimony from many witnesses. Rosen‚ Donoghue‚ Engel and others were also present. Viewers heard additional information from Bill Barr's taped deposition‚ which was recorded by Hutchinson and Eric Herschmann (Trump White House lawyer). A selection of clips from video testimony by Rudy Giuliani‚ Sidney Powell and other Trump lawyers were also shown to the committee. Steven Engel‚ ex-Assistant Attorney General for Office of Legal Counsel is sworn in as the House Select Committee continues to investigate the attack on Washington's Capitol. Richard Donoghue (ex-Acting Attorney General) and Jeffrey Rosen (exacting Attorney General)‚ are being questioned by the House Select committee. The hearing will take place at Washington's Capitol‚ Thursday June 23rd 2022. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

What’s next?

Thompson and Cheney reiterated this throughout the last two weeks. The select committee's probe is still active‚ so the hearing schedule can be modified based upon new developments. Thompson told reporters The committee will be taking a short break on Wednesday to review a range of evidence received during the recent hearings. This includes never before seen video footage of Trump with his family‚ from Alex Holder as well as new documents from National Archive. Additional witnesses are still sought by the committee. Cheney mentioned earlier in the week that the committee is seeking testimony from Pat Cipollone‚ former Trump White House Counsel‚ who according to other witnesses was one of the top officials who opposed Trump's plans to overturn the election. Thompson concluded by saying that future hearings of the committee will focus on Trump's use of [the] threat and mobilization of the mob in Washington and the reasons why‚ when corruption and political pressure had failed‚ violence was the only option.

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