6 Findings from the fifth Special Committee hearing on January 6th

6 Findings from the fifth Special Committee hearing on January 6th

The focus of fifth House Select Committee hearing on Jan. 6 presented findings on President Trump’s attempts to involve the Justice Department in plans designed to help him overthrow the 2020 presidential election and the Department official who sought to help him, Jeffrey Clark.

Here are some of the highlights and new revelations:

Who is Jeffrey Clark and how did Trump meet him?

  • Clark served as Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from 2018 to 2021.
  • According to senior former Justice Department officials, he had never tried a criminal case or conducted a criminal investigation when he plotted with Trump to oust the acting attorney general and take the job as the country’s top law enforcement official.
  • Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen only became aware that Trump had met Clark on December 24, 2020, when Trump mentioned Clark “peculiar” during a discussion of voter fraud. Rosen recalled being confused by the mention of Clark because the Environment Department was not involved in investigating voter fraud.
  • GOP Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania introduced Clark Trump and took him to a meeting at the White House on Dec. 22, the select committee found.
  • On Thursday morning, law enforcement agencies searched Clark’s house.

What the witnesses said about Jeffrey Clark

Clark pushed the idea of ​​sending out a Justice Department letter urging Georgia state legislatures to delay voting certification, citing suspected voter fraud. Former White House Counsel Eric Herschmann told the committee in recorded testimony: “Clark’s proposal was crazy. I mean, that’s a guy… best I can say, the only thing you know about environmental and electoral challenges is that both start with ‘E.'”

Former acting assistant attorney general Richard Donoghue said he told Clark why he was “not even competent” to be attorney general: “He’s never been a criminal defense attorney, he’s never conducted a criminal investigation in his life. He’s never been before a grand jury, let alone a trial jury.”

Donogue recalled Clark’s reply, “Well, I’ve done a lot of very complicated appeals and civil litigation, environmental litigation…” And I said, “That’s right. You are an environmental advocate. How about you go back to your office and we’ll call you if there’s an oil spill.”

Trump’s Efforts to Install Clark as Attorney General

Making Clark Attorney General would have empowered him to use the Justice Department’s authority to attempt to reverse the election results.

White House call logs dated January 3, 2021 show that the White House had already designated Clark as acting attorney general, but Clark’s promotion was not sealed. The assistant attorney general threatened to resign en masse if Trump promoted Clark as he had announced. “Everyone said without hesitation that they would resign,” Donoghue said Thursday.

Engel told Trump that if he put Clark in place, “the story will not be that the Justice Department found massive corruption that would have changed the election results — it will be the Jeff Clark disaster.”

Sidney Powell says Trump asked her to be a special counsel to investigate the election

Powell, the former pro-Trump attorney who campaigned in several states to have election results overturned, told the committee in recorded testimony that Trump “had asked me to be a special counsel to address the election issues and gather evidence “. The New York Times first reported that Trump considered the idea, but this was the first time Powell openly acknowledged it.

The Trump campaign distanced itself from her after Powell falsely claimed millions of votes had switched from Trump to Biden. She also promoted the conspiracy theory that Dominion Voting Systems was created to help Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Several Republican congressmen asked for apologies

White House officials told the committee in recorded testimony that several members of the Republican House had asked the White House for a presidential pardon: Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Perry, according to former White House official Cassidy Hutchinson.

Five days after the Capitol riots, Brooks emailed a White House aide to propose a blanket pardon for “any congressman and senator who voted to reject the Arizona and Pennsylvania nominations to the Electoral College.”

After the hearing, Brooks shared the email He had sent CBS News and said via text message, “There were concerns that Democrats would abuse the justice system by prosecuting and imprisoning Republicans who acted in accordance with their constitutional or legal duties under 3 USC 15. Fortunately, over time, more rational powers took over and no one was prosecuted for discharging their rightful duties, meaning a pardon was ultimately unnecessary.”

The committee has not yet spoken to Ginni Thomas

Jan. 6 committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said after the hearing that the select committee had not yet spoken to Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

At first, the committee said it had no plans to speak to her, but newly detected emails show that she corresponded with Trump-allied attorney John Eastman. She responded to a letter from the committee, “and we look forward to continuing to work with her,” Thompson said earlier this week.

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