Jan. 6 hearing to spotlight Trump’s pressure on DOJ and plan to replace attorney general

Clark pushed Trump to install him as acting AG, promising to find fraud

Jeff Clark, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, September 14, 2020.

Susan Walsh | AFP | Getty Images

Witnesses described a dramatic Jan. 3, 2021, Oval Office meeting in which Clark pitched Trump to install him as acting attorney general.

Trump, Clark, Donoghue, Rosen and others were in the office at the time. Clark said if he was given the DOJ leadership role, he would uncover widespread fraud, would send out a letter to states suggesting election fraud had been uncovered, Donoghue said.

Clark claimed that this was a last opportunity to “sort of set things straight” with the election, Donoghue said.

Donoghue said he responded that Clark, who was an environmental lawyer and never served as a prosecutor, had never conducted an investigation, never been in front of a grand jury or argued before a jury.

He said Clark retort that he’d done lots of complex appellate and civil litigation and environmental litigation — to which Donoghue replied: “That’s right, you’re an environmental lawyer. How about you go back to your office and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill?

kevin breuninger

White House lawyer says he told Clark the plan to overturn the election would be a ‘felony’

Former White House senior advisor Eric Herschmann told the committee that when Clark told him about his plans to challenge the election results, Herschmann told him he would be committing a crime.

“Congratulations, you just admitted your first step or act you’d take as attorney general would be committing a felony and violating Rule 6C. You’re clearly the right candidate for the job,” Herschmann said he told Clark.

kevin breuninger

Barr says he shudders to think what would have happened to the US if he didn’t push back on Trump election fraud claims

Former US Attorney General Bill Barr is seen on video during his deposition for the public hearing of the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, June 9, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, told the committee that he was glad to have been in the position to be able to say that he “didn’t think there was fraud” in the 2020 election.

That “was really important to moving things forward,” Barr told investigators in an interview clip that played during the hearing.

He said he shudders to think of what would have happened had DOJ not conducted its own investigation. “I’m not sure we would have had a transition at all,” he said.

kevin breuninger

Clark letter to Georgia legislature described as ‘murder-suicide pact’

A video former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue speaking is shown on a screen during the fifth public hearing of the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, June 23, 2022 .

Jim Burg | Reuters

Clark co-wrote a December 2020 letter he planned to send to Georgia’s legislature, claiming that the DOJ found “significant concerns” that may have affected the election outcome.

The letter’s claims were a “lie,” Cheney said after displaying a screenshot of the letter. Clark had no evidence of widespread election fraud that could have tipped the outcome of the race, but he knew what Trump wanted him to do, Cheney said.

Had the letter been released on DOJ letterhead, “it would have falsely informed all Americans … that President Trump’s election fraud allegations were likely very real,” Cheney said.

Former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue said White House counsel Pat Cipollone told him: “You know, that letter that this guy wants to send, that letter is a murder-suicide pact, it’s going to damage everyone who touches it.”

kevin breuninger

‘There is much more to come’ from Jan. 6 probe, Cheney says

Committee Vice Chair US Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) gives her opening statement during the public hearing of the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, June 9, 2022 .

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said the committee has much more evidence to reveal in its investigation into the Capitol riot.

“Our committee has just begun to show America the evidence that we have gathered,” Cheney said in her opening remarks.

“There is much more to come, both in our hearings and in our report,” Cheney said.

kevin breuninger

Trump wanted DOJ to ‘help legitimize his lies,’ Thompson says

Former President Donald Trump appears on screen during the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Trump wanted the Department of Justice to actively aid in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Thompson said at the start of the hearing.

“Trump didn’t just want the Justice Department to investigate. He wanted the Justice Department to help legitimize his election lies. To baselessly call the election corrupt. To appoint a special counsel to investigate alleged election fraud. To send a letter to six state legislatures urging them to consider altering the election results,” Thompson said.

When these efforts failed, Trump sought to replace then-acting Attorney General Rosen with Clark, he said.

kevin breuninger

Federal agents reportedly searched home of Jeffrey Clark, ex-DOJ official tied to Trump’s election efforts

Jeff Clark, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, September 14, 2020.

Susan Walsh | AFP | Getty Images

Federal agents on Wednesday morning searched the Virginia residence of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, multiple news outlets reported.

Clark, a former environmental lawyer at the Justice Department, played a public role in Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election. The committee plans to examine his involvement during his hearing Thursday afternoon. The panel plans to show how Trump wanted to install Clark as acting attorney general as part of his plan to overturn Biden’s victory in the 2020 election.

ABC News, which reported earlier Thursday the activity at Clark’s Lorton, Virginia, home, cited a neighbor who said they saw FBI agents entering and exiting the residence.

A spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, told NBC News that it “can confirm there was law enforcement activity in that area yesterday.” The spokesperson declined to provide further detail.

Spokespeople for the DOJ, FBI, and select committee did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment on the reported search.

kevin breuninger

Hearing will look at Trump’s presidential pardons, chairman said

US Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot speaks during a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2022 .

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said late Wednesday that the fifth public hearing will include “some conversations about pardons.”

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., noted in a prior hearing that “multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

She called out Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., who allegedly tried to get pro-Trump DOJ official Clark installed as acting attorney general, and has refused to testify before the committee.

Thompson on Wednesday night declined to name any other pardon-seeking lawmakers. “You must come to the hearing,” he told reporters.

Thompson also said the committee may hold more than the seven hearings that were originally announced. “We can do eight, nine or ten. A lot just depends on what we come up with,” he said.

kevin breuninger

GOP Rep. Kinzinger details death threats against him and his family

US Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) participates at the opening public hearing of the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, June 9, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the select committee, said that threats and harassment targeted at him, his family and other members of the panel are “constant” and have been increasing.

Kinzinger on Sunday posted a screenshot on Twitter showing a handwritten death threat, which the congressman said was “Addressed to my wife, sent to my home, threatening the life of my family.”

“The Darkness is spreading courtesy of cowardly leaders fearful of truth,” Kinzinger tweeted.

Kinzinger told CNN on Wednesday that he received another message “last night, threatening execution,” saying that it now seems to be “the normal thing.”

The congressman’s participation in the Jan. 6 investigation and regular criticism of Trump have made him a pariah among many Republicans. He said he shared the death threat to point out the “depravity” swirling around the politically charged probe, decrying “that there are people that literally would come up with this idea of ​​killing a five-month-old because you disagree with me being on the January 6 committee.”

“We have security, we’ve amped up our security posture,” Kinzinger said. “We’re going to move on, and it’s not going to hinder us and it’s not going to intimidate us.”

kevin breuninger

Committee has pushed back several hearings

This afternoon’s hearing on the DOJ was originally scheduled for last week, but it was postponed without a clear explanation.

On Wednesday, the committee announced that it was also pushing back its final two public hearings from June to July.

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., suggested Wednesday that new evidence received by the committee prompted the scheduling changes. A select committee aid told CNBC that the panel “continues to receive additional evidence relevant to our investigation” into the Capitol riot, and that it will announce dates and times for the final hearings “soon.”

That new evidence reportedly includes never-before-seen documentary footage from a filmmaker who had access to Trump and his family before and after the riot. The investigators also continue to seek cooperation from key witnesses, including former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

kevin breuninger

.

Leave a Comment