Trump was the one who suggested sending letter to states alleging 2020 election fraud, former acting AG testifies

·2 min read
Former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testifying before the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection
Jeffrey Rosen, former acting Attorney General, testifies before the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 23, 2022.Alex Wong/Getty Images
  • Then-President Donald Trump suggested DOJ send letters to states suggesting election fraud.

  • Rosen refused to send the letters, stating there was no evidence of fraud during 2020 elections.

  • The House committee said they show how Trump tried to pressure DOJ officials.

Former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen said on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump suggested that the Justice Department send letters to state legislatures in Georgia and other states alleging that there was voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election despite knowing there was no such evidence.

Rosen told lawmakers on the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection that during Trump's final days in office, the former president and his campaign suggested several strategies for the Justice Department to overturn the presidential election results. These tactics included filing a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, making public statements, and holding a press conference.

"The Justice Department declined all of those requests that I was just referencing because we did not think they were appropriate based on the facts and the law, as we understood," Rosen said.

The requests from Trump and his campaign came after William Barr resigned as attorney general and Rosen stepped into that role in an acting capacity. Rosen told the committee that between the dates of December 23, 2020, and January 3, 2021, Trump would call him or meet with him almost every day.

During these meetings, Trump would express how the Justice Department needed to do more to investigate election fraud during the 2020 presidential election, Rosen said.

Also at Thursday's hearing, former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue recalled how Trump tried to pressure the Justice Department to do more to support his claims of voter fraud. The committee displayed an image of Donoghue's handwritten note on the former president's instructions to DOJ that read, "Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen."

Donoghue said he and other DOJ officials told the former president that the Justice Department found no evidence of election fraud and that these allegations of voter fraud had no merit.

"It was clear to us that there are a lot of people whispering in his ear, feeding him these conspiracy theories and allegations, and I felt that being very blunt in that conversation might help make you clear to the president that these allegations were simply not true," Donoghue said.



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