Then-President Donald Trump put pressure on his new acting attorney general to cancel the 2020 vote, telling him, “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” it says in a phone call released on Friday to a House Committee.
Trump also suggested he consider replacing the Justice Department leadership, according to the records of then-Assistant Attorney General Richard Donoghue, who called on Dec. 27.
Donoghue’s report on the call shows that Trump “directly directed our nation’s chief law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency,” said House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y in a press release.
The committee has already started scheduling witness interviews “to investigate the full extent of the former president’s corruption,” Maloney said.
Donoghue’s notes do not disclose which Republican lawmaker Trump was referring to to overthrow Joe Biden’s victory. But, elsewhere on the call, Trump mentioned GOP representatives Jim Jordan from Ohio, Scott Perry from Pennsylvania, and Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin.
Jordan spokesman Russell Dye told CNBC in a statement that the congressman “has not pressured anyone in the Justice Department about the 2020 election, and will not press them” and that he “continues to agree with President Trump that it is absolute is appropriate to raise concerns about electoral integrity. “
Johnson “had no discussions with President Trump about the DOJ questioning the election results,” said his spokeswoman Alexa Henning.
Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., speaks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on DC statehood on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.
Caroline Brehman | CQ name call | Getty Images
The notes also show that Rosen and Donoghue are trying to inform Trump that his claims of widespread electoral fraud are not supported by evidence. Just four days before the call, Rosen became Trump’s incumbent AG after the resignation of William Barr.
“Much of the information you are receiving is inaccurate,” the phone notes shared with Trump said.
Later in the conversation, Trump claimed, “These people who say the elections are not corrupt are corrupt,” the notes read.
A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on the committee’s release. A Perry spokesman also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump never admitted defeat to Biden. After his loss, Trump aggressively spread a wide range of baseless conspiracy theories in support of the false claim that the elections were rigged against him.
His lawyers and allies filed dozens of lawsuits in key states, all aimed at undoing Biden’s victory. No one was able to reverse the votes or change the results of the elections in any state.
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Donoghue’s notes are just the latest material House investigators have held up as evidence of Trump’s efforts to rely on government institutions to contest his electoral defeat.
Last month, Maloney’s committee dumped more than 200 pages of emails between DOJ officials and White House officials allegedly attempting to ask the Supreme Court to overturn major state election results.
Earlier this week, the DOJ announced former Trump administration officials that they would be able to work with House and Senate investigations into Trump’s election reversal efforts in the final months of his only term in office.
Maloney’s committee has sent letters to Rosen and Donoghue asking them to appear for transcribed interviews. The panel has also asked former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, former Assistant Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian, former US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung Jin Pak, and former Acting US Attorney General Prosecutor for interviewing Bobby Christine District.