The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday released a sweeping report about how former President Donald Trump and a top lawyer in the Justice Department attempted to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Trump directly asked the Justice Department nine times to undermine the election result, and his chief of staff Mark Meadows broke administration policy by pressuring a Justice Department lawyer to investigate claims of election fraud, according to the report, which is based on witness interviews of top former Justice Department officials.
The Democratic-led committee also revealed that White House counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to quit in early January as Trump considered replacing then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ lawyer who supported election fraud conspiracies.
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Trump’s proposed plan, Mr. Cipollone argued, would be a “murder-suicide pact,” one participant recalled. Only near the end of the nearly three-hour meeting did Mr. Trump relent and agree to drop his threat. Mr. Cipollone’s stand that night is among the new details contained in a lengthy interim report prepared by the Senate Judiciary Committee about Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to do his bidding in the chaotic final weeks of his presidency.
The interim report, released publicly on Thursday, describes how Justice Department officials scrambled to stave off a series of events during a period when Mr. Trump was getting advice about blocking certification of the election from a lawyer he had first seen on television and the president’s actions were so unsettling that his top general and the House speaker discussed the nuclear chain of command.
Even by Trump standards, this is nuts. We need a full investigation, with criminal laws examined, too, which only DOJ, not Congress, can properly do. https://t.co/8pwdIMDgG2
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) October 7, 2021
Senate Judiciary releases 394-page staff report entitled: “Subverting Justice: How the Former President and his Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election.”: https://t.co/zASBtOCu5w Durbin’s office says these are the key findings pic.twitter.com/zWgiVbEp8N
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) October 7, 2021
“He was really pushing the DOJ to bend to his political will. I don’t think I’m overstating the case: We were a half step away from a full-blown constitutional crisis,” Sen. Durbin on fmr. President Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. https://t.co/jQRPLVWqtp
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 7, 2021