The following paragraphs are excised directly from the Senate Report, “Subverting Justice: How the Former President and his Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election.”
FINDING 1: President Trump repeatedly asked DOJ leadership to endorse his false claims that the election was stolen and to assist his efforts to overturn the election results. Beginning on the day former Attorney General William Barr announced his resignation and continuing almost until the January 6 insurrection, Trump directly
and repeatedly asked DOJ’s acting leadership to initiate investigations, file lawsuits on his behalf, and publicly declare the 2020 election “corrupt.” Documents and testimony confirm that Rosen, and in some cases other senior DOJ leaders, participated in several calls and meetings where Trump directly raised discredited claims of election fraud and asked why DOJ was not doing more to address them.
FINDING 2: White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked Acting Attorney
General Rosen to initiate election fraud investigations on multiple occasions, violating longstanding restrictions on White House–DOJ communications about specific law–enforcement matters. Meadows asked Rosen to have DOJ investigate at least four categories of false election fraud claims that Trump and his allies were pushing.
FINDING 3: After personally meeting with Trump, Jeffrey Bossert Clark pushed Rosen and Donoghue to assist Trump’s election subversion scheme—and told Rosen he would decline Trump’s potential offer to install him as Acting Attorney General if Rosen agreed to aid that scheme. Clark pushed Rosen and Donoghue to publicly announce that DOJ was investigating election fraud and tell key swing state legislatures they should appoint alternate slates of electors following certification of the popular vote. He did so following personal communications with Trump, including at least one meeting that Clark attended in the Oval Office without the knowledge of DOJ leadership.
FINDING 4: Trump allies with links to the “Stop the Steal” movement and the January 6 insurrection participated in the pressure campaign against DOJ. In addition to Trump White House officials, including the President himself, outside Trump allies with ties to the “Stop the Steal” movement and the January 6 insurrection also pressured DOJ to help overturn the election results. They included:
—U.S. Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District, who led the objection to counting Pennsylvania’s electoral votes on the House floor in the
hours immediately following the January 6 insurrection. Perry has acknowledged introducing Clark to Trump, and documents and testimony confirm that he directly
communicated with Donoghue about his false Pennsylvania election fraud claims.
— Doug Mastriano, a Republican State Senator from Pennsylvania who participated in Rudy Giuliani’s so–called election fraud “hearings,” spent thousands of dollars from
his campaign account to bus people to the January 6 “Save America Rally,” and was present on the Capitol grounds as the insurrection unfolded. Documents show that, like Perry, Mastriano directly communicated with Donoghue about
his false election fraud claims.
FINDING 5: Trump forced the resignation of U.S. Attorney Byung Jin (“BJay”) Pak, whom he believed was not doing enough to address false claims of election fraud in Georgia. Trump then went outside the line of succession when naming an Acting U.S. Attorney, bypassing First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kurt Erskine and instead appointing
Bobby Christine because he believed Christine would “do something” about his election fraud claims. U.S. Attorney Pak investigated and did not substantiate various claims of election fraud advanced by Trump and his allies, including false claims that a videotape showed suitcases of illegal ballots being tabulated at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena.
FINDING 6: By pursuing false claims of election fraud before votes were certified, DOJ deviated from longstanding practice meant to avoid inserting DOJ itself as an issue in
the election. Prior to the 2020 general election, DOJ’s longstanding policy and practice was to avoid taking overt steps in election fraud investigations until after votes were certified, in order
to avoid inserting DOJ itself as an issue in the election. Then–Attorney General Barr weakened this decades–long policy shortly before and after the 2020 election, including in a November 9, 2020 memo that directed prosecutors not to wait until after certification to investigate allegations of voting irregularities that “could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.”
Consistent with this directive and following additional personal involvement
by Barr, DOJ took overt steps to investigate false claims of election fraud before certification in one instance detailed to the Committee—and likely others.
The Committee’s investigation to date underscores how Trump’s efforts to use DOJ as a means to overturn the election results was part of his interrelated efforts to retain the presidency by any means necessary. As has been well–documented by other sources, Trump’s efforts to lay the foundation of the “Big Lie” preceded the general election by several months; Attorney General Barr inserted DOJ into that initial effort through various public remarks and actions prior to November 3, 2020 that cast doubt on voting by mail procedures implemented to facilitate exercise of the franchise during the worst public health crisis in a century.
Concurrent with Trump’s post–election attempts to weaponize DOJ, Trump also reportedly engaged in a separate and equally aggressive pressure campaign on Vice President Mike Pence to set aside the electoral votes of contested states. This “back–up plan,” as it were, culminated on January 4—one day after Clark’s final attempt to wrest control of DOJ from Rosen, and again in the Oval Office—when Trump and outside attorney John Eastman attempted to convince Pence that he could circumvent the certification through a procedural loophole in the Electoral Count Act.7 All of these efforts, in turn, created the disinformation ecosystem necessary for Trump to incite almost 1,000 Americans to breach the Capitol in a violent attempt to subvert democracy by stopping the certification of a free and fair election.
These people all betrayed their oaths, the nation, and its people through possibly the worst form of treachery imaginable, the deliberate attempt to overturn and falsify the results of a lawful and fair election.
As of this time, none of them has been brought to justice.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.