Steven Engel, Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, three senior officials from the US Department of Justice are sworn in before the parliamentary inquiry into the assault on the Capitol, in Washington, June 23, 2022. JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP The commission of parliamentary inquiry into the assault on the Capitol attacked Thursday, June 23, Donald Trump’s “brazen” attempts to push the Department of Justice to support his false allegations of electoral fraud around the presidential election won by Joe Biden. During this fifth public hearing, the nine elected officials – seven Democrats and two Republicans repudiated by their party – detailed the pressure exerted by Mr. Trump on the ministry and his efforts to appoint one of his faithful, Jeffrey Clark, to head it. ready for “interference in the results of a presidential election”. “Donald Trump didn’t just want the Department of Justice to investigate. He wanted the Department of Justice to help him legitimize his lies and groundlessly declare the election was rigged,” noted Commission Chairman Bennie Thompson. The elected officials returned to the tensions within the ministry in the days preceding January 6, 2021, when the defeated president had faced an internal revolt while trying to install one of his relatives at the head of the institution. “It was a brazen attempt to use the Justice Department to advance the president’s personal political interests,” Thompson added. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Assault on the Capitol: pressure from the Trump clan to change the result of the presidential election detailed before the commission of inquiry Former acting deputy minister Richard Donoghue testified for his part that he told many times to the former US president that his accusations of voter fraud were unfounded. Mr. Trump simply repeated that he had won the presidential election. “The president said, just say the election was rigged and leave the rest in my hands and those of the elected Republicans,” Mr. Donoghue said, based on his notes taken during a telephone conversation with Mr. Trump and former acting minister Jeffrey Rosen. “Facts, evidence and laws” Seeing that the highest officials of the Ministry of Justice refused to bend, the beaten president tried to install one of his relatives at the head of the institution. Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level civil servant who embraced the president’s theories of a rigged election, was to overrule the department’s findings, which found no evidence of fraud that could have changed the outcome of the November ballot. Jeffrey Clark was also to intervene on behalf of the ministry to refuse to certify the result of the election in the key state of Georgia, where Joe Biden had won with only 12,000 votes in advance. The Commission learned that Mr. Clark had prepared a letter for Georgia’s elected officials, in which he claimed that the department had uncovered evidence of massive fraud in Georgia, which was untrue. But other Justice Department officials refused to sign the letter, and White House legal adviser Eric Herschmann said he told Jeff Clark that sending the letter would have been “a crime.” Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Assault on the Capitol: how Donald Trump wanted to enlist Mike Pence in a coup Mr. Trump announced to Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue that he was advised to fire them and appoint Jeffrey Clark acting minister. “I answered him (…) Mr. President, you need to have the officials who suit you, but you must understand that the Ministry of Justice operates on the basis of facts, evidence and laws. And that won’t change,” Mr. Donoghue said. The former assistant minister also said he warned Jeffrey Clark that his efforts to substantiate allegations of fraud “were nothing less than interference by the Department of Justice in the results of a presidential election”. Resignation threat Jeffrey Rosen, Richard Donoghue, Steven Engel, a senior ministry official, and Pat Cipollone, a White House lawyer, threatened to resign during a meeting with the president on January 3, warning that they would take with them the best federal prosecutors across the country. Donald Trump has given up naming Jeffrey Clark, who refused to testify before the commission of inquiry. Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Assault on the Capitol: a staggering dive into the lies of Donald Trump It announced on Wednesday that two additional sessions would take place before a break in work on July 4 and a resumption later, if necessary . After a year of investigation, the commission would like to present its findings before the end of the summer, placing Donald Trump at the heart of “an attempted coup” which culminated in the assault of hundreds of his supporters on the Congress building in Washington on January 6, 2021, as elected officials certify Joe Biden’s victory. The images of chaos in and around the Capitol had gone around the world and shaken American democracy for a few hours. The World with AFP
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