WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan 6. Commission used Thursday hearing to show the pressure Donald Trump put on the Justice Department to put at the helm a loyalist who would pursue the then-president’s false claims of voter fraud and the certification of the 2020 election that Democrat Joe Biden won, would stop.
It’s the latest record of how close the United States would come to a constitutional crisis had the division leaders not threatened to resign and the incumbent was able to orchestrate a plan for the government to reverse the election results in several crucial states. to make.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., presided over the hearing, saying it would show “how close we were to losing it all.”
Some key conclusions from this month’s fifth hearing of the commission investigating the causes of the January 6, 2021 Capitol uprising. The commission has tried to show that Trump’s efforts to reverse his loss resulted in the deadly siege after he sent supporters to the Capitol while Congress confirmed Biden’s victory.
TRUMP’S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IN DELIVERY
Day after day, Trump pressured department leaders to investigate false allegations of electoral fraud after the November 2020 election.
Former Attorney General William Barr had described the swirl of false theories about voter fraud emerging from Trump’s orbit as “wack-a-mole.”
The department rejected Trump’s overtures because “we didn’t think they were appropriate,” testified Jeffrey Rosen, who became acting attorney general after Barr resigned.
The officials told Trump that states will hold their own elections free of federal interference. But Trump just pressed harder, despite being repeatedly told there was no fraud.
In late December 2020, Trump asked Rosen what Rosen thought was a “peculiar” question: Do you know Jeff Clark?
Trump looked to Clark to take over the department.
WHO IS JEFF CLARK?
Clark headed the civil division dealing with environmental matters. He was introduced to Trump by a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, a leader of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
Clark had circulated a proposal that would prompt battlefield state legislators not to certify their election results. By holding their voters back for Biden, the disputed states could submit alternate voters loyal to Trump.
Clark’s ideas disturbed his colleagues, as did his sudden rise in Trump’s orbit as a potential new acting attorney general.
“We may have entered a constitutional crisis as a result,” said Richard Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general.
In a heated meeting as Trump was driving Clark’s rise with the others in the White House, Donoghue made the point that “Jeff Clark wasn’t even qualified to serve as Attorney General.”
When Clark looked back at having worked on complex civil and environmental cases, Donoghue replied, “Would you go back to your office and we’ll call you if there’s an oil leak?”
Subpoenas SERVED ON ‘FALSE VOTERS’
The hearing was postponed as the Justice Department escalated its own investigation, search Clark’s Virginia house this week, as federal agents also issued subpoenas across the country in connection with Trump allies’ plan to create fake voter sets in order to invalidate Biden’s victory.
The purpose of the searches was not immediately clear, but they came as the House committee pressured the department to step up its investigation.
Among those under investigation are Republican officials in key states, including those working on fake voters in the run-up to Jan. 6, when Congress was due to count the election results.
Georgia Republican Party chairman David Shafer received a subpoena, and Nevada GOP chairman Michael McDonald handed his phone over to federal agents on Wednesday when they approached him outside his car in Las Vegas and presented a warrant. So say acquaintances who were not authorized to discuss the developments publicly and who spoke on condition of anonymity.
For full coverage of the January 6 hearings, visit https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege