Trump White House Pushed Justice Over False Election Fraud Allegations
Riot on Capitol Hill: House approves January 6 commission, with 35 Republican votes
Opposition in the Senate could be enough to torpedo the bill, seen by Democrats as necessary to revisit the attack by a pro-Trump mob.
STAFF VIDEO, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Trump’s White House began privately pressuring then Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen to look into baseless allegations of electoral fraud just before he was about to step in as acting head of the justice ministry in December – and even as attorney general at the time. William Barr had publicly admitted that the agency had found no evidence of widespread fraud that would have changed the election results.
A mine of emails released Tuesday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee shows a campaign of lingering pressure in the days leading up to January 6, when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol. United States to prevent Congress from counting state-certified Electoral College votes. The emails also show how senior Justice Department officials, unconvinced of the merits of the election fraud allegations, resisted calls from the White House to investigate the allegations.
In a Jan. 1 email, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sent Rosen a link to a YouTube video about a debunked theory that the votes shifted from Trump to Joe Biden at the United States Embassy in Rome. Rosen forwarded the email to then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, who called it “sheer madness.”
Less than an hour later, Meadows asked Rosen to ask a Justice Department official to look at signature discrepancies in Fulton County, Georgia.
“Can you believe it? I’m not going to reply to the message below,” Rosen said, forwarding the email from Meadows to Donoghue.
“At least it’s better than the last one, but it doesn’t say much,” Donoghue replied.
Rosen also said he was asked to make the FBI work with an associate of Rudy Giuliani, the former president’s personal lawyer who was at the forefront of false allegations of voter fraud.
“I categorically refused, I said that I would not give any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his ‘witnesses’, and I reaffirmed once again that I will not tell Giuliani about any of this. “Rosen said in an email to Donoghue. .
The emails were released ahead of a second House Oversight Committee hearing on the deadly assault on Capitol Hill. At the first hearing in May, Rosen defended the Justice Department’s response to the attack, saying 500 officers and officers had been sent to Capitol Hill to assist police.
This story will be updated.