Former Obama AG Eric Holder says Trump telling DOJ to declare election ‘corrupt’ is ‘smoking gun’
Former Attorney General Eric Holder said revelations that former President Trump told the Justice Department (DOJ) to declare the election “corrupt” amounts to a “smoking gun.”
Former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue told the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection at its hearing on Thursday that Trump spoke to him by phone in late December 2020 to complain about DOJ not acting on his claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Donoghue took detailed notes of the conversation.
“ ‘Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and Republican congressmen,’ ” Trump said on the call, according to Donoghue’s notes.
Holder, who led the DOJ during the Obama administration, posted on Twitter on Thursday that this can be considered evidence of a crime.
“This is the smoking gun,” Holder wrote. “Coupled with other testimony demonstrates Trump’s substantive involvement and corrupt intent, requisite state of mind.”
Donoghue said the phone call was an “escalation” of Trump’s claims of voter fraud, which were proven to be baseless, and became more “adamant” that the department was not doing its job.
Donoghue said he responded to Trump by refuting his claims based on witness interviews, documents and investigations that had been conducted.
Throughout the Jan. 6 committee’s public hearings, members have presented evidence showing that Trump was repeatedly told by those surrounding him that his claims of voter fraud were false, but he maintained his claims and attempts to overturn the election results anyway.
The committee also revealed during its hearing Thursday that Rudy Guiliani, Trump’s former legal adviser, told the committee that Trump pushed to install an attorney general who would support Trump’s claims and use the DOJ to pursue them. Trump wanted to appoint Jeffrey Clark, the then-acting leader of the DOJ’s Civil Division, but the plan was abandoned when top department leaders threatened to resign.
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