Trump supporters sought pardons following his efforts to reverse the election

Thursday, June 23, 2022
author picture Ethan Guerin
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Donald Trump Nominates Jeff Clark to Head the Justice Department

After the election‚ there was a rumble in the DOJ over a potential leadership change. Acting DOJ official Richard Donoghue warned against the nomination‚ and DOJ officials warned against mass resignations. But then the president's pick of Jeff Clark‚ the DOJ's chief deputy‚ was announced and congressional investigators obtained White House call logs. This deposition‚ released in March‚ shattered that plan.

Richard Cowan‚ Moira Warrenburton‚ and Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON‚ (Reuters) – At least five Republican congressional allies sought White House pardons following their support for Trump's attempts to reverse his 2020 electoral defeat. Witnesses told U.S. House that the witnesses were speaking out about the probe into Trump's Jan. 6th‚ 2021 attack on the Capitol. The fifth day of hearings concluded with their names being revealed. It was focused on the way the former president pressured high-ranking Justice Department officials every day in his last weeks of office in order to illegally retain power. Trump wanted to replace Jeffrey Rosen‚ Acting Attorney General of the Justice Department with Jeffrey Clark. Clark is a Justice Department environmental attorney and steadfast supporter Trump's falsified claims that his defeat was due to widespread fraud. This move was only made possible by the threat of mass resignations of most other Justice Department leaders if Trump implemented it. He didn't really care about the factual investigation. At Thursday's hearing‚ Rep. Adam Kinzinger (a Republican member of the committee) stated that he just wanted the Department of Justice approve of the lies. Rosen was represented by Richard Donoghue‚ Rosen's then-acting deputy attorney general‚ and Steven Engel‚ former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel. The panel also viewed video evidence from other Trump White House staffers. This video testimony revealed that Republican Representatives Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks‚ Matt Gaetz and Louie Gohmert sought pardons to Trump. It could have protected them from prosecution for activities they might have committed prior or during Jan. 6th riot at Capitol. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan is a vocal defender for Trump. He inquired about pardons at the White House but did not request one‚ according to Cassidy Hutchinson who was an aide of then-White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows. Perry previously refused to seek a pardon. Representatives of five other victims did not respond immediately. Trump has never granted pardons. PRESSURE CAMPAIGN Rosen stated that Trump repeated his assertions to the Department of Justice in the days preceding Jan. 6‚ 2021 when Congress met for the formal certifying of Democrat Joe Biden to be the next president‚ that it had failed to adequately investigate false claims of voter fraud. The president called me or met virtually daily between Dec. 23rd and Jan. 3 except for Christmas Day. Rosen also testified. Donoghue said that Trump told Justice Department officials‚ "What Im asking you to do is to say it was corrupt. The rest will be left to me and Republican congressmen." Eric Holder was the former U.S. attorney general who worked under Barack Obama's Democratic predecessor. This testimony‚ along with others‚ shows Trump's corruption intent and substantive involvement. Ex-Justice Department officials criticized Clark for being incompetent‚ unqualified and unable to lead the Department of Justice. He pushed them recommendations that they claimed would prove disastrous. Clark also demanded that Rosen and Donoghue send letters to Georgia lawmakers‚ falsely alleging that the Justice Department was concerned about Biden's legitimacy and echoing Trumps fraudulent claims of voter fraud. Both refused. Biden was victorious in both the Popular Vote and the Electoral College votes by large margins. Donoghue stated that Clark was warned by Donoghue during a January meeting of Trump about hundreds or hundreds of resignations should he become head of the agency. It would mean that the leadership would vanish. Jeff Clark would lead a cemetery. After it became clear that Clark's house had been raided by federal authorities‚ the hearing began. PREDAWN RAID Russ Vought was the ex-director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and recently hired Clark as a legal advocate group Center for Renewing America. He confirmed Clark's raid on Twitter. Clark was told that more than 12 federal law enforcement officers searched his house during a pre-dawn search‚ placed him on the street in his pajamas‚ and stole his electronic devices. U.S. The U.S. Attorneys Office confirmed that there were law enforcement activities in Lorton‚ Virginia near Clark's home‚ on Wednesday‚ but did not elaborate. Clark gave a deposition before the select committee. The committee displayed excerpts from it‚ in which Clark repeatedly invoked his legal rights not to answer any questions. Clark claimed that he was one of the most wanted targets by the J6 committee. The Justice Department is looking into whether there were plots to promote alternative lists of fake voters in battleground states‚ with the aim of overturning election results. One subpoena Reuters has seen is focused on the fake slate of Georgia electors. Investigators want copies of any attempt‚ plan‚ or attempt to be an elector for Donald J. Trump (or Vice President Mike R. Pence) starting in October 2020. The FBI is also looking for copies of communication between potential electors‚ federal employees and Trump allies such as Giuliani or John Eastman. Trump made a passionate speech in front of the White House Jan. 6 repeating his fraudulent claims about election fraud. Trump's supporters stormed Capitol and sent lawmakers and Pence running for their lives. On Jan. 6‚ four people were killed‚ one by police‚ and two from natural causes. One rioter died that day‚ while 140 officers sustained injuries. Later‚ four officers committed suicide. Reporting by Richard Cowan and Sarah N. Lynch‚ Additional reporting by Doina Chacu and Rose Horowitch‚ Editing by Scott Malone and Rosalba Obrien and Howard Goller