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Jan 6 hearings: Trump-linked lawyer compares FBI to Stasi, as ex-president’s call to Putin revealed

Trump to DOJ: Say the election was corrupt and ‘leave the rest to me’

Donald Trump is celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the constitutional right to abortion, saying it will “work out for everybody” and amounts to “giving rights back when they should have been given long ago” – this as the furor over the decision overshadows devastating evidence of his plan to subvert the US’s democratic process in 2020 and 2021.

At yesterday’s hearing of the 6 January select committee, several ex-Justice Department appointees confirmed that even after being repeatedly briefed that his election claims were meritless, Mr Trump still praised supporters who rioted at the Capitol.

“They’re smart,” Mr Trump told filmmaker Alex Holder, “and they see and they saw what happened, and I believe that that was a big part of what happened on January 6.”

Mr Holder has described an incident in October 2020 when an interview he had scheduled with Mr Trump was cancelled because the then-president was on the phone with Vladimir Putin. The substance of their conversation is so far unknown.

Meanwhile, a former Department of Justice lawyer who tried to advance Donald Trump’s baseless election claims inside the government has been searched by the FBI.

In an interview with Fox news shortly after, Jeffrey Clark compared the raid to the Stasi secret police of East Germany.

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Pence seen reacting to bid to force Trump from office using 25th amendment in documentary clip

Documentary film footage from a British filmmaker caught Vice PresidentMike Pence’s reaction as the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded from the chamber that he invoke the 25th amendment to remove Donald Trump as president during the final days of his term.

Mr Pence, who ultimately did not invoke the 25th amendment, appears nonplussed in the footage.

Read more:

Pence seen reacting to bid to force Trump from office using 25th amendment in clip

Footage from a British filmmaker shows the Vice President’s reacation as the House of Representatives demanded he invoke the 25th amendement

Abe Asher23 June 2022 20:35
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Today’s hearings have focused on the role of the Justice Department as Donald Trump and his allies pressured officials to overturn the election.

A key figure in that effort was Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ environmental lawyer who hoped to use the department to legitimise Mr Trump’s false claims about the election and encourage states to send separate, illegitimate sets of electors for the former president.

Former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue told the January 6 committee he thought Mr Clark was not qualified to weigh in on such matters. “I made the point that Jeff Clark is not even competent to serve as the Attorney General. He’s never been a criminal attorney. He’s never conducted a criminal investigation in his life,” Mr Donoghue told the committee, adding, “How about you go back to your office. and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill.”

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 20:46
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Committee details pressure campaign to elevate Trump ally in DOJ

The committee is rolling out extensive evidence of how Trump allies pressured the Justice Department to elevate Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level official attempting to get the DOJ to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election results.

They showed December text messages from US representative Scott Perry, who texted Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that “we gotta get going” with plans about challenging the election and elevating Mr Clark to a high level position.

“I got it. I think I understand,” Mr Meadows replied.

Later that month, Mr Clark urged Richard Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general, to sign a letter criticising Georgia’s election results and proposing sending a slate of pro-Trump electors.

Mr Donoghue said he thought the letter was “extreme” and highly innappropriate, given the lack of evidence about election irregularities in the state.

“This is a grave step for the Department to take and could have tremendous constitutional, political and social ramifications for the country,” Mr Donoghue’s response read.

“This was not based on fact,” the former DOJ official added during his testimony on Thursday. “It was actually contrary to the facts.”

“It may very well have spiralled us into a constitutional crisis,” he added.

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 21:15
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Trump told DOJ to say election was corrupt and ‘leave the rest to me’ and GOP, Jan 6 hearing told

Top officials at the Justice Department testified on Thursday that then-President Donald Trump put enormous pressure on them in near-daily phone calls and statements demanding that they declare the results of the 2020 election fraudulent with zero evidence.

Former acting deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue told the committee that Mr Trump instructed him personally to say that the election was “corrupt”, and that he would use that as the impetus for Congress to act and refuse to certify the results.

“Just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Donald Trump said, in words read aloud by Jan 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger, who then asked: “That’s a direct quote from President Trump, correct?”

“That’s an exact quote from the president, yes,” Mr Donoghue responded.

More details on this breaking news here.

Trump told DOJ to say election stolen, ‘leave the rest to me’, Jan 6 witness says

Top DOJ officials detail stunning pressure White House put on supposedly independent agency

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 21:23
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Is this Trump’s Nixon moment?

Some are comparing Donald Trump and his allies’ efforts to get the Department of Justice to serve his political aims during a scandal to that of President Nixon’s infamous attempts to cover up the Watergate crisis.

As Maggie Haberman of The New York Times wrote on social media on Thursday, “Comparing Trump to Nixon has always been imperfect for a variety of reasons, but never have the parallels been as clear as during a hearing in which two top former DOJ officials testified about Trump wanting to use the department for strictly partisan political purposes.”

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 21:30
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Donald Trump exploded in DOJ meeting and threatened leaders with firing

During a late December meeting with Richard Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general, and other DOJ officials, Donald Trump threatened the government lawyers with firing because they wouldn’t seize voting machines and declare that they were suspicious of the 2020 election results.

“Towards the end of the meeting the president again was getting very agitated. He said, ‘People tell me I should just get rid of both of you,’” Mr Donoghue testified on Thursday.

The president then said he was thinking of elevating Jeffrey Clark, a DOJ official who was circulating plans to have the Justice Department declare state election results suspect and encourage legislatures to send pro-Trump electors.

“Maybe something will finally get done,” Mr Trump said, according to the testimony.

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 21:40
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Sean Penn sits with Capitol Police officers who were injured in riot at latest public Jan 6 hearing

Sean Penn sat with Capitol Police officers injured in the January 6 riots during Thursday’s hearing into the insurrection.

The Academy Award-winner and celebrity activist chatted and joked with Michael Fanone, now a CNN contributor, and shook hands with other officers.

“I’m just here to observe — just another citizen,” Penn told reporters.

“I think we all saw what happened on January 6 and now we’re looking to see if justice comes on the other side of it.”

Bevan Hurley has the story.

Sean Penn sits with Capitol Police officers at Jan 6 hearing

‘I’m just here to observe — just another citizen,’ actor tells reporters

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 21:45
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Trump wondered ‘What do I have to lose?’ as he pondered elevating conspiracy theorist at DOJ

In the days just before January 6, Donald Trump met with top Justice Department officials in the Oval Office.

He told the assembled leaders he was considering clearing house among the top leadership, who didn’t go along with the former president’s election conspiracies, and elevating Jeffrey Clark, a mid-level DOJ official who did.

“What do I have to lose?” Mr Trump wondered aloud, according to testimony from Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general.

“I said, ‘Mr. President, you have a great deal to lose,’” Mr Donoghue testified.

The top DOJ official said the decision to elevate Mr Clark, an environmental attorney with no background in criminal investigations, would be a disaster.

“It’s impossible, it’s absurd. It’s not going to happen. And he is going to fail,” Mr Donoghue continued in the meeting, according to his testimony.

He also said he warned the president the decision would prompt mass resignations.

Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone compared elevating Mr Clark, who wanted states that went for Biden to submit illegitimiate pro-Trump electors instead, to a “murder-suicide pact.”

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 22:04
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The reviews are in: Donald Trump calls Day 5 of hearings a ‘Kangaroo Court'

Donald Trump is fuming about the January 6 hearings, posting numerous messages on his app Truth Social throughout the committee’s proceedings on Thursday.

He argued that the committee was failing to present the president’s side of the story or air out his thoroughly debunked claims about a stolen election.

“They refuse to go there, they want it all CANCELED, because it would be IMPOSSIBLE for the Unselect Committee to refute or challenge that which would be put before them, or the American Public,” read one message.

Read the full messages below.

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 22:17
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Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mo Brooks asked for pardons from Trump, Jan 6 hearing told

Representatives Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Louis Gohmert, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Scott Perry were among the Republican members of Congress who asked then-president Donald Trump to insulate them from future prosecutions by granting them presidential pardons in the days immediately following the attack on the US Capitol on January 6 last year.

Their names were revealed by the House January 6 select committee on Thursday at the end of the panel’s hearing to examine Mr Trump’s efforts to pressure the Department of Justice to assist in his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.

The select committee played videotaped excerpts from depositions of former Trump White House staffers, who described the Republican members’ efforts to obtain clemency after Mr Trump’s scheme brought about the worst attack on the Capitol since the War of 1812.

“The general tone because we may get prosecuted because we work The President’s positions on these things,” said former deputy White House counsel Eric Herschmann, who confirmed to the panel that Mr Gaetz asked for a pardon.

Richard Hall and Andrew Feinberg have more.

Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mo Brooks asked Trump for pardons after Jan 6

January 6 committee reveals names of lawmakers who asked Trump for a pardon following Capitol attack

Josh Marcus23 June 2022 22:30

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