(CNN) — Former President Donald Trump pressured then acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to declare that the elections had been corrupt in an attempt to help Republican congressmen try to overturn the election result, according to the notes of a call Trump made in December 2020 with Rosen and Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Donoghue.During the call on December 27, 2020, Trump pressured Rosen and Donoghue to falsely declare the elections “illegal” and “corrupt,” even after the Justice Department had discovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Trump said on the call, according to Donoghue’s notes.
The notes made by Donoghue were provided to the House Oversight Committee from the call that Trump had with Rosen and Donoghue, who assumed the main positions of the Department of Justice in the last weeks of the Trump presidency after the resignation of former Attorney General William Barr.
The notes are the latest evidence of Trump’s efforts to pressure the Department of Justice (DOJ) to support his false claims of voter fraud as he tried to overturn his November loss to Joe Biden. Those efforts are now the subject of a new select committee of the House of Representatives that is investigating the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill by Trump supporters to try to stop the certification of Biden’s election victory, in addition to the House Oversight Committee investigation into Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.
“These handwritten notes show that President Trump directly instructed our nation’s top judicial agency to take action to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency,” said the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Representative Carolyn Maloney in a statement.
Trump’s suggestion that he and Republican lawmakers could intervene in the election outcome is the latest evidence that Trump believed he could override the election through Congressional certification of Electoral College results on January 6. , in which Trump’s allies tried to overturn the election results of several states.
Trump also pressured then-Vice President Mike Pence to ignore the Constitution and prevent certification, criticizing Pence on Twitter at the same time that the rioters had forced the vice president and lawmakers to evacuate the houses of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Both Rosen and Donoghue could end up testifying before Congress about their interactions with Trump after the election, after the Justice Department told the Senate Judiciary and House Oversight Committees this week that did not enforce executive privilege on DOJ officials’ communications with Trump on January 6.
That guidance could also apply to the select committee, which has been in contact with Rosen, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
The documents were first reported by The New York Times.
‘You may not follow the Internet like I do’
Donoghue’s notes show how Trump continued to push false claims of voter fraud in several states. Trump said “people are angry” and blaming the Justice Department for the inaction, suggesting “I blame the DOJ + for the inaction.”
“We have an obligation to tell people that this was an illegal and corrupt election,” Trump said, according to the notes.
Rosen and Donoghue defended themselves by telling Trump, “We are doing our job. Much of the information you are receiving is false,” according to Donoghue’s notes. The notes included a reference to Trump’s false claim that Michigan’s vote count error rate was 68%, when in fact it was 0.0063%, or one in 15,000.
“You may not follow the Internet like I do,” Trump said, according to the notes.
At another point, according to Donoghue’s notes, Rosen told Trump to understand that the Justice Department “cannot and will not snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election,” adding that it “doesn’t work that way.”
Trump launched the possibility of firing more Justice Department officials
Trump suggested during the call that he could replace Rosen with then-Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, who had allegedly urged Trump to appoint him Acting Attorney General in place of Rosen.
“People tell me Jeff Clark is great, that I should put it on,” Trump said, according to Rosen’s notes. “People want me to replace the DOJ leadership.”
Clark had lobbied Trump to remove Rosen and use the Justice Department to try to undo Georgia’s election results, according to a newspaper report. The New York Times. Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked Rosen to have Clark investigate alleged problems with firms in Georgia, according to reports. emails posted last month, ahead of a Jan.3 Oval Office meeting in which Trump heard directly from Clark and Rosen before ultimately choosing not to impeach Rosen.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism