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Trump’s Ex-Staff Chief Is Asked to Testify on DOJ Election Role

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15 June 2021, 14.12, uppdaterad 15 June 2021, 15.00

(Bloomberg) -- A House committee is asking former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and several former Justice Department officials to be interviewed about evidence it says shows President Donald Trump and his allies tried to pressure the department to help him overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Democrats on the Oversight and Reform Committee assert that the documents they’ve obtained illustrate how Trump, Meadows and others in December 2020 and early January 2021 repeatedly pressed senior DOJ officials to advance unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.

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The panel released the documents prior to its scheduled hearing Tuesday afternoon on events leading to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“These documents show that President Trump tried to corrupt our nation’s chief law enforcement agency in a brazen attempt to overturn an election that he lost,” the panel’s chairwoman, Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.

Maloney added, “Those who aided or witnessed President Trump’s unlawful actions must answer the Committee’s questions about this attempted subversion of democracy. My Committee is committed to ensuring that the events leading to the violent Jan. 6 insurrection are fully investigated.”

Among evidence cited by Maloney and her Democratic colleagues are newly released documents they say show Meadows pressured DOJ officials -- on at least five occasions -- to investigate baseless “conspiracy” claims of election fraud or put pressure on other officials to pursue these claims.

They contend other documents show is that Trump used White House channels and a private attorney to pressure the department to urgently file a Supreme Court lawsuit to nullify the election. They allege evidence also shows Trump sent election fraud claims to two DOJ officials -- then-deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and then-Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue -- just minutes before announcing their promotions to the top two spots in the department.

Along with Meadows, the committee announced it has requested transcribed interviews also from Donoghue; former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark; former Associate Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian; and the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Byung Jin Pak.

The committee had on May 21 already invited Rosen to sit for a transcribed interview.

As a member of the House prior to becoming Trump’s chief of staff, Meadows had served on the Oversight committee. Meadows could be immediately reached for comment.

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