Newly released documents obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform reveal that former President Donald Trump and his allies pressured the Department of Justice to back his lies about the 2020 general election, which he has repeatedly and baselessly claimed was fraudulent.
The documents show that Trump, his then-chief of staff Mark Meadows, and outside allies regularly pushed senior officials within the DOJ to investigate allegations of voter fraud, even encouraging the department to file a lawsuit in Supreme Court requesting that the court declare that the Electoral College vote in six states Trump lost cannot be counted, and request a special election to vote for president.
Meadows specifically urged the Justice Department to take action to benefit Trump, including an instance when he claimed there were “allegations of signature match anomalies” in Fulton County, Georgia, and asked then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to have a Justice Department official “engage on this issue immediately to determine if there is any truth to this allegation.”
Rosen later forwarded this email to DOJ official Richard Donoghue, saying: “Can you believe this? I am not going to respond to the message below.”
“At least it’s better than the last one, but that doesn’t say much,” Donoghue responded.
The documents are the latest indication of wrongdoing by the former president and come as Congress continues to be embattled over the creation of a commission to investigate the events of January 6, when a mob of Trump’s supporters, spurred by his falsehoods about the election, stormed the United States Capitol in a bid to overturn the results of the election.
“These documents show that President Trump tried to corrupt our nation’s chief law enforcement agency in a brazen attempt to overturn an election that he lost,” Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Committee on Oversight and Reform, said in a statement.
“Those who aided or witnessed President Trump’s unlawful actions must answer the Committee’s questions about this attempted subversion of democracy. My Committee is committed to ensuring that the events leading to the violent January 6 insurrection are fully investigated,” she added.