The then US President is said to have urged his Attorney General to write a letter to help him overturn the election results. When the minister refused, a dramatic meeting apparently took place in the White House.
According to the department’s leadership at the time, ex-President Donald Trump wanted to use the US Department of Justice to contest the results of the 2020 presidential election. At a hearing in the House of Representatives on Thursday, then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy Richard Donoghue described how Trump put them under vehement pressure. He also threatened to reappoint the ministry in order to get the agency to take action against alleged voter fraud, they told the investigative committee into the storming of the US Capitol in January 2021.
Rosen said during his short tenure at the helm of the ministry from December 23, 2020 to January 3, 2021, Trump called and video chatted with him almost every day. Donoghue said Trump had “an arsenal of allegations” about alleged voter fraud “that he wanted to base himself on.” The President has urged the Justice Department to investigate. However, these were baseless allegations or conspiracy theories. “These allegations were simply baseless,” Donoghue said. The Department of Justice has complied with the law and the facts, stressed Rosen.
The entire leadership is said to have threatened the president with their resignation
Among other things, Trump tried to get the department to write a letter declaring that the election was corrupt, Donoghue said. Trump said that he and his Republican allies in Congress would then do the “rest” – i.e. overturning the legitimate election result.
Trump threatened to replace Rosen with top official Jeffrey Clark, who was willing to use the agency to undermine the election, in the face of the department’s refusal to back him. At a dramatic meeting in the White House on January 3, Trump was made clear that in this case almost the entire top management of the ministry would resign immediately, Rosen and Donoghue said in unison.
Rosen and Donoghue only took office in December 2020 for the final weeks of Trump’s term after Attorney General William Barr tendered his resignation amid a dispute over the outcome of the presidential election. To this day, Trump claims without evidence that he was deprived of victory in the November 2020 election through fraud. Opposition to the outcome of the election culminated on January 6 with the attack on the Capitol, the seat of Parliament.