(WASHINGTON) — Handwritten notes from former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, released Friday by the House Oversight Committee, appear to show that former President Trump tried to pressure the Department of Justice to declare there was significant fraud tainting the 2020 presidential election.
The documents were obtained by the committee as part of its investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The notes are from a December 27, 2020, phone call between Trump and then-Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen.
According to Donoghue’s notes, Rosen told Trump that the Justice Department had no power to reverse the outcome of the election.
“Understand that the DOJ can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election, doesn’t work that way,” said Rosen, according to the notes.
“Don’t expect you to do that, just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” Trump replied, per the notes.
At another point in the call, the notes showed Rosen and Donoghue trying to convince Trump that his allegations of voter fraud were false.
“Sir we have done dozens of investig., hundreds of interviews, major allegations are not supported by evid. developed,” Donoghue told Trump, per the notes. “We are doing our job. Much of the info you’re getting is false.”
Trump however would not be swayed.
“‘We have an obligation to tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election,” he said, according to the notes.
“These handwritten notes show that President Trump directly instructed our nation’s top law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said in a statement. “The Committee has begun scheduling interviews with key witnesses to investigate the full extent of the former President’s corruption, and I will exercise every tool at my disposal to ensure all witness testimony is secured without delay.”
The release of the notes comes days after the Justice Department determined that six former Trump Justice Department officials, including Rosen and Donoghue, can participate in Congress’ investigation.
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