September 23, 2023

United States President Donald Trump speaks at an event honoring Bay of Pigs Veterans in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Aug.

Almond Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

In his final days in office, then-President Donald Trump pressured senior Justice Department officials to contest his election defeat to Joe Biden, the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday.

The board of directors said a cache of more than 200 pages of newly published emails from Justice Department officials and White House staff shed new light on how Trump tried to undermine the 2020 election results and unsupported claims of election fraud involving the To advance the “apparent goal”. to hold oneself in power.

The documents show, among other things, that Trump urged the Justice Department in December to file a complaint with the Supreme Court to cancel the election, the committee said.

The dumping of new materials came hours before the board of directors was due to hold its second hearing on the deadly invasion of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“These documents show that President Trump tried to corrupt our nation’s chief law enforcement agency in a brazen attempt to overturn an election he lost,” Regulatory Authority Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., said in a press release .

“Those who supported or witnessed President Trump’s illegal actions must answer the committee’s questions about this attempted undermining of democracy. My committee is working to ensure that the events that led to the violent uprising of January 6th are fully investigated, ”Maloney said.

The committee said it had also requested transcribed interviews with then White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and four Justice Department officials.

Trump officials did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

What the emails show

The committee said Tuesday it received the emails after sending a May 21 letter to the DOJ containing documents related to Trump’s “efforts to overturn the 2020 election results” prior to the attack dated January 6th were requested.

The emails, which range from mid-December to the days leading up to the Capitol invasion, show Trump, his White House staff and his outside allies repeatedly putting pressure on DOJ officials, the committee said.

For example, on Dec. 14, Trump’s assistant emailed then-assistant attorney general Jeffrey Rosen a series of attachments alleging that there was an “electoral cover-up” in Michigan, the panel said.

Minutes later, an assistant to Richard Donoghue, then the senior deputy assistant attorney general, sent the same information to two U.S. attorneys in Michigan, according to the committee.

About 40 minutes after the initial email was sent, Trump tweeted that Rosen would replace Attorney General William Barr in an acting capacity and Donoghue would serve as Assistant Attorney General.

That announcement came moments after the electoral college voted to formalize Biden’s victory over Trump.

Later in December, Trump’s assistant emailed a bill to Rosen, Donoghue, and acting Attorney General Jeffrey Wall.

The 54-page draft complaint would have asked the Supreme Court to state that the Electoral College votes “cannot be counted” in six key swing states – Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania.

The wording of the law also required that the Supreme Court authorize the states concerned to hold a special election to appoint their presidential elections.

Other emails show that Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff and former North Carolina congressman, repeatedly urged Rosen to investigate conspiracy theories of election fraud – including allegations of fraudulent activity carried out via “military satellites” from Italy.

Trump never gave in to Biden after losing the presidential competition last November. Rather, he falsely claimed to have won the election and spread a number of baseless conspiracy theories that widespread electoral fraud had rigged the race against him.

Trump’s attorneys and his allies filed dozens of lawsuits in key swing states that he had lost and the Supreme Court to nullify or overturn Electoral College results. Most of these lawsuits avoided alleged fraud in court, and none managed to get any votes on Trump.

The oversight committee is holding its second hearing on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET on the January 6 invasion, during which a mob of hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol and forced Congress to go into hiding, temporarily preventing Biden’s victory to be confirmed.

The hearing is intended to answer “unanswered questions” about the attempted insurrection, “including the Trump administration’s failure to anticipate, prepare for and respond appropriately to the attack,” the panel said.

Rosen refused to say at the previous May 12 hearing whether Trump had directed him to try to advance false claims of election fraud.

Another hearing on the Capitol Invasion, held by the House Administration Committee, is scheduled to begin concurrently with the Board hearing.

The Administrative Committee will be led by Michael Bolton, Inspector General of the US Capitol Police, to investigate the department’s response to the violent mob.