US President Donald Trump leaves the White House in Washington, DC, USA on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.
Samuel Corum | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump has put high-level Justice Department officials under pressure to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election before leaving office, the House Oversight and Reform Committee said on Friday.
The committee cited handwritten notes taken during a phone call with Trump and then Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen on Dec. 27.
“Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” Trump instructed DOJ officials, based on notes from Richard Donoghue, the then acting assistant attorney general, who was also under discussion.
Trump also suggested on the call that he was considering replacing the agency’s leadership, the notes show.
Donoghue’s report on the call shows that Trump “directly directed our nation’s chief law enforcement agency to take steps in the final days of his presidency to overturn a free and fair election,” said Regulatory Authority Chairman Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y. ., in a press release.
The House Committee has already started scheduling witness interviews “to investigate the full extent of the former president’s corruption,” Maloney said.
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
A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on the committee’s release.
Trump has 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 state elections.
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 cleared a cache of more than 200 pages of email between DOJ officials and White House officials allegedly attempting to ask the Supreme Court to overturn major state election results.
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