Fri, July 30, 2021, 1:44 PMIn this article:
Documents released by congressional investigators Friday show that former President Donald Trump pressured top U.S. Justice Department officials in December to overturn his election defeat, threatening to oust them if they did not comply with his demands.
The handwritten notes, taken by then Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and released by the chair of the House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee, paint a damning picture of Trump as he desperately sought to get the Department to take the unprecedented step of intervening in the 2020 presidential election.
The newly released notes detail a Dec. 27 phone call in which Jeffrey Rosen, who was appointed as acting attorney general a few days later, is quoted as telling Trump: “Understand that the DOJ can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election.”
Trump replied, “Don’t expect you to do that,” adding quote, “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” in a reference to Republicans.
Throughout the call, Trump repeatedly pushed false claims that the election had been stolen – something that Rosen and Donoghue refuted.
Just a little over a week later – these same false claims inspired thousands of his supporters to attack the U.S. Capitol in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory.
The fact that the Justice Department allowed the handwritten notes to be turned over to congressional investigators marks a dramatic shift from the Trump administration, which repeatedly invoked executive privilege to skirt congressional scrutiny.
And, in yet another setback for Trump, the Justice Department on Friday cleared the way for the IRS to hand over his tax records to congressional investigators – a move he has long fought.