Emails show Trump pressured Justice Department for 2020 election


WASHINGTON (AP) – In the final weeks of his presidency, Donald Trump and his allies have pressured the Justice Department to investigate unsubstantiated allegations of widespread electoral fraud in 2020, despite his former prosecutor General said there was no evidence, according to recently published emails.

The emails, released Tuesday by the House Oversight Committee, reveal in new detail how Trump, his White House chief of staff and other allies pressured members of the US government to contest the election of 2020 on false claims, even though officials at Homeland Security and Justice, as well as Republican election leaders across the country, have repeatedly said there was no widespread fraud. Former Attorney General William Barr, a longtime Trump loyalist, was among those who said there was no evidence of such fraud.

The emails also show how hard Trump worked to enlist then Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen in his unsuccessful legal campaign to challenge the election result, including suggesting that a brief be filed with of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Those sent to Rosen include debunked conspiracy theories and false information about voter fraud. Trump’s election lies helped spur the crowd that stormed the United States Capitol on Jan.6 in an unsuccessful effort to prevent Joe Biden’s victory from being certified. On several occasions, for example, allies have written about the potential election fraud of Dominion Voting Systems, a conspiracy theory that is now the subject of a billion dollar libel lawsuit by the voting company. Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows asked about the investigation into allegations of electoral fraud caused by satellites from Italy.

Meadows attempted to have Rosen investigate the conspiracy theories and prompted the acting attorney general to meet with an ally of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was launching baseless election plots that Italy was using satellites and military technology to modify the votes.

After Rosen forwarded Meadows’ email, Rich Donoghue, the Acting Deputy Attorney General, sent Rosen a note that said “sheer madness.” Rosen responded that he had been asked to meet Giuliani’s FBI associate and he said no, insisting the man could follow normal FBI protocol to get tips and just call the public line. intelligence or forward his information to an outside FBI office. But Rosen said Giuliani was “insulted” by the response.

“When asked if I would reconsider my decision, I categorically refused, said that I would not accord any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his ‘witnesses’, and once again reaffirmed that I won’t talk to Giuliani about any of this, ”Rosen wrote.

On December 14, the day the Electoral College votes were certified and Barr announced he would resign later in the month, Trump’s White House aide sent a note to Rosen with the subject line “From POTUS ”, an acronym for President of the United States. . Email to Rosen, a deputy attorney general who became acting attorney general after Barr left, included talking points about alleged electoral fraud in County Antrim, in a key battlefield state , Michigan, such as claims such as “cover-up occurs regarding voting machines in Michigan” and “Michigan cannot certify for Biden.”

Moments after Trump’s aide sent the documents, Donoghue sent the same documents to US attorneys in the eastern and western districts of Michigan.

On December 29, Trump’s White House aide emailed Rosen, Donoghue, and Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall and included a draft legal brief for the Supreme Court, with a phone number where they could contact the president directly. The proposed lawsuit asked the court to “declare that the Electoral College votes” in the six battlefields indicate that Trump lost “cannot be counted.” He asked the court to order a special election in those states.

One of Trump’s private attorneys then emailed senior justice officials urging them to file the complaint. The emails show he repeatedly called Rosen’s senior advisers and other DOJ officials to request meetings, claiming he was traveling from Maryland to DOJ headquarters in Washington to meet Rosen because he couldn’t reach him.

“As I said during our call, the President of the United States saw this complaint, and he asked me last night to inform AG Rosen in person today and discuss this action,” he said. he wrote in an e-mail. “I have been instructed to report to the President this afternoon after this meeting.”

The Associated Press reported late last year on efforts within the Trump administration to pressure government employees to embrace the false narrative of the 2020 election fraud. Trump has asked the Justice Department to investigate cases of voter fraud, and justice officials sent a note to states prioritizing the effort. The Republican president also called for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate the false allegations of voter fraud.

And the official serving as Trump’s eyes and ears in the Justice Department tried to pressure staff members to give out sensitive information about voter fraud and other matters she might pass on to the White House. She was banned from the building.

Trump considered replacing Rosen with a more staunch ally, Jeffrey Clark, and even investigated whether the White House could appoint a special advocate without Justice Department approval. On January 1, for example, Meadows asked Rosen to ask Clark to investigate “signature match discrepancies in Fulton County, Ga.”

This did not happen, and on January 3, another justice official wrote that the “cause of justice won”.

Three days later, hundreds of pro-Trump rioters burst into Capitol Hill, attacking police and causing dozens of injuries, causing $ 1.5 million in damage and scaring lawmakers on the run for their lives. Five people died, including a policeman who collapsed that day. At least 400 people have been arrested in connection with the riot, the largest lawsuit in the history of the Department of Justice.


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