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Trump pushed Justice Department officials to say election was stolen, Jan. 6 panel hears

Trump pushed Justice Department officials to say election was stolen, Jan. 6 panel hears

WASHINGTON—Former President Donald Trump pushed Department of Justice officials to falsely claim there was evidence of fraud in the 2020 election and attempted to replace the acting attorney general when he refused to comply with his demands, the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection will detail in its hearing Thursday.

The committee will argue that such a declaration from Justice Department officials that fraud took place in the election would have cast doubt on the results and given GOP-controlled state legislatures a pretence to appoint alternate presidential electors and prevent President Joe Biden’s victory.

Former acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen, former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel Steven Engel are scheduled to testify before the committee that Trump asked the Justice Department in December to file legal briefs supporting election lawsuits brought by his campaign and allies. Testimony will also detail Trump‘s request that Rosen appoint a special counsel to investigate election fraud even though Justice Department investigations concluded there was no evidence of fraud on a scale that would change the election’s outcome.

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The panel will also discuss a push by the former president to have the Justice Department challenge election results in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in the Supreme Court. Engel and the Office of Legal Counsel ruled there was no legal basis to bring such a lawsuit.

The committee is also expected to focus on a handful of meetings in late December 2020 and early January 2021 in which Trump considered replacing Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, the head of the DOJ’s civil division, at the…

Read full article on www.thestar.com