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Senate Judiciary GOP argues claims of Trump strain on DOJ after presidential election are overblown

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Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are releasing dueling stories on former President Donald Trump’s alleged strain on the Justice Department (DOJ) to research election-related claims throughout December 2020, with Republicans calling their counterparts’ claims overblown.

The GOP report, which was spearheaded by Judiciary Committee Rating Member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, cited interviews with prime Justice Division officers, together with former Performing Lawyer Basic Jeffrey Rosen, to argue that Trump and his prime staffers “didn’t strain” the DOJ to research particular election claims. 

It additionally performed down Trump’s alleged zeal to comply with via an thought from former Justice Division official Jeffrey Clark to ship a letter asking state legislatures to contemplate appointing alternative electors, and to fireplace Rosen.

The GOP report, for instance, described a much-reported Jan. 3 White Home assembly as an effort to “formally and eventually determine the problems at play, which have been two-fold: whether or not to ship Clark’s draft letter and whether or not to take away Rosen as appearing lawyer normal and exchange him with Clark.”

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The GOP report says Trump “listened to all seven people” within the assembly and that it “culminated in President Trump rejecting sending Clark’s draft letter and rejecting terminating Rosen.”

The Republicans’ report got here to considerably totally different conclusions than the Democrats’ interim report on the committee’s investigation. The New York Times revealed lots of the particulars of that report Thursday, together with that it doubtless can be launched to the general public this week. 

Based on The Times, the Democrats’ report characterised the Jan. 3 assembly as an intense change wherein a number of prime Trump officers threatened to resign in an effort to cease Trump from going ahead with a “murder-suicide pact.” 

“This report reveals the American folks simply how shut we got here to a constitutional disaster,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ailing., whose workplace led the committee’s foremost report, stated, as The Instances reported. 

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, in October 2020.
(Susan Walsh / POOL /AFP by way of Getty Pictures, File)

The Republicans’ report, in the meantime, introduced the identical Jan. 3 change famous in The Instances as having occurred in a extra businesslike trend. 

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“[Former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard] Donoghue famous in his testimony that, till this assembly, President Trump didn’t totally perceive the gravity of his advisors’ issues with Clark’s plan, which have been critical sufficient that they and different senior DOJ leaders had said they might resign if Clark was made Performing Lawyer Basic and his plan was carried out,” the GOP report stated. 

“President Trump then turned to Donoghue and requested if he would resign if Clark turned Performing Lawyer Basic, to which he answered within the affirmative,” it continued. “President Trump additionally requested [then-Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel] Steve Engel, to which he additionally answered within the affirmative. When he had heard all views, President Trump rejected Clark’s proposals and accepted his advisors’ suggestions.”

The investigation is notably not over, as Democrats’ report is technically an interim report. The committee nonetheless has not interviewed Clark himself, for instance. 

The GOP report additionally downplayed the alleged severity of actions by Trump and his advisers in relation to the Justice Division on a number of different subjects. 

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., speaking before the Judiciary Committee in October 2020.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ailing., talking earlier than the Judiciary Committee in October 2020.
(AP Picture/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

“Witnesses testified that [then-Chief of Staff] Mark Meadows didn’t strain them to take motion referring to investigating election allegations and was deferential to DOJ’s judgment,” one line from the report’s govt abstract learn.

“Witnesses testified that they weren’t pressured by President Trump or the White Home to take motion with respect to investigating sure election fraud claims,” one other line stated. 

“President Trump needed to fireplace – however didn’t hearth – [former U.S. Attorney] BJay Pak primarily as a result of he believed Pak was a ‘never-Trumper,’” added one other. 

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However, regardless of the GOP’s characterization of the Trump White Home’s interactions with the Justice Division particularly, the previous president actively was pushing false claims that the presidential election was stolen throughout this time interval. And, simply days after the Jan. 3 assembly, Trump notably urged then-Vice President Mike Pence and congressional Republicans to overturn the presidential election outcomes when Congress convened to depend electoral votes. 

Simply eight Senate Republicans voted to take action, and Grassley was not one among them. 

Fox Information’ Kelly Laco contributed to this report.



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