Former Assistant Attorney General Richard Donoghue told the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that, after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 election, Donoghue spent 90 minutes explaining to President Donald Trump why each one of his claims of widespread voter fraud were completely unfounded.
After that time, Donoghue said that Trump bluntly told him, “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.”
Donoghue shared his handwritten note from the conversation about this to the committee, adding, “That’s an exact quote.”
“Just say it was corrupt, and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen,” Trump told Department of Justice officials.
Former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue at today’s Jan. 6 committee hearing: pic.twitter.com/fzr3NhrlkI
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During his testimony, Donoghue said that Trump had repeatedly pressured the Department of Justice (DOJ) “virtually every day” from December 23, 2020 to January 3, 2021, to put the DOJ’s rubber stamp on his election fraud claims and begin investigating them.
In October 2021 Trump considered the possibility of replacing Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, an attorney who seemed willing to do Trump’s bidding.
Donoghue also told Trump that if he tried to install Clark that the entire leadership team at the Justice Department would resign.”
Donoghue said that he told Trump at a December 31, 2020 meeting, “Mr. President, you should have the leadership you want, but the Justice Department functions on facts, evidence, and law. And no matter who is in charge, that is not going to change.”
Clark wanted the DOJ to send a letter to Georgia’s Republican-led legislature telling it to hold a special session where representatives would choose a slate of electors willing to overrule the state’s popular voters by voting in favor of Trump instead.
Trump also infamously called the state’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and pressured him to “find” just enough votes to give Trump a slim margin of victory of Biden in the state. Trump’s phone call toRaffensperger could help land the former president in jail, a former Watergate prosecutor has said.
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