The stunning details about just how far former President Trump was willing to go to stay in office after losing the election are about to become a major focus of the House select committee that is investigating the events around the January 6 insurrection.
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee, tells the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent:
“Our committee will definitely want to understand Trump’s efforts to manipulate the department as part of the attack on the election leading up to Jan. 6.”
It began last week when Trump’s onetime acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen gave testimony to Judiciary Committee members about how former DOJ deputy Jeffrey Clark tried to aid Trump overturn the election. Rosen’s testimony followed a two-hour long interview with the DOJ’s inspector general on Friday. Those close to Rosen told the New York Times he scheduled the meetings with congressional leaders quickly to get his version of events on the record before any lawyers could step and try to block his testimony.
We already knew that Clark, a Trump loyalist, was feverishly trying to manipulate the Justice Dept. to interfere with the certification of election results in Georgia. Emails that were were first reviewed by ABC News showed that, as well as how Rosen and DOJ official Richard Donoghue blocked his efforts.
But the attempts to subvert democracy didn’t stop there.
From the Post:
But it gets worse. The latest revelation, from Rosen’s private testimony, is that those machinations occurred amid direct collaboration with Trump. As the Times reports, Rosen disclosed that Clark had been “engaging in unauthorized conversations” with Trump about how the department might “publicly cast doubt on President Biden’s victory.”
According to Greg Sargent, writer of the WaPo column, this speaks to Trump’s true intent not just about these efforts, but about his actions on January 6.
The idea was to accomplish through intimidation and violence what all other efforts had failed to do: Disrupt the count of electors in Congress and the official certification of Trump’s loss.
“Trump wanted to use the Department of Justice to delegitimize the election,” Raskin told me. Raskin noted that those earlier machinations help “reveal his intent to overthrow our democratic process.”
The select committee’s mission is to unravel the circumstances and causes of the attempt to derail the U.S. democratic process on Jan. 6. And former Vice President Mike Pence will figure prominently here.
As Raskin explains, Trump spent months even before the November election sowing seeds of doubt about the legitimacy of the election results. After the votes were tallied and it was shown that he lost to Biden, his election lies kicked into overdrive and his focus turned to Pence, with the hopes he could be manipulated into doing his bidding.
Once more, from the Post:
“He wanted DOJ to declare the election corrupt in order to help him coerce Mike Pence to reject specific results coming from the states,” Raskin told me, adding that this was likely intended to also give Pence “cover” to reject those electoral votes.