Jan 6 hearing to focus on Trump’s planned DOJ shake-up: live updates

WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump’s threat to oust his attorney general in favor of someone more willing to pursue his baseless claims of election fraud are the focus the House Jan. 6 committee’s hearing Thursday.

What happened at today’s hearing:

  • ⚖️ How did the DOJ showdown go down: After top Justice Department officials found no merit to Trump’s election fraud allegations, Trump considered replacing Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark. But relented after an Oval Office showdown where top lawyers at the Justice Department and White House counsel’s office threatened to resign.
  • 🗣️ Who is testifying? Three former Justice Department officials – Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and Steve Engel, an assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel – are expected to describe the Oval Office showdown over removing Rosen.
  • 📝What do we know about their testimony? The committee has already played portions of taped depositions with Rosen and Donoghue, illustrating how each told Trump they investigated his claims of election fraud and came up empty.
  • Feds descend on ex-Justice Department official’s home: Federal authorities on Wednesday were at the home of former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark.
  • Orderly transition: In testimony to the committee, former Attorney General Bill Barr said he initiated an investigation into election fraud because he didn’t believe an orderly transition was possible without it.
  • White House lawyer’s warning: Trump White House Counsel John Herschmann said he told former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark his first act as attorney general would be to commit a felony if he went through with a plan to tell six swing states to send alternate slates of Trump electors to Congress.
  • Who are the GOP lawmakers who sought Trump pardons?: The committee has alleged that some GOP lawmakers asked for pardons over their actions related to Jan. 6. Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said Thursday’s hearing would close with video testimony from three Trump staff members who would identify the lawmakers.
  • ‘Just say it was corrupt’: Richard Donoghue, a senior Justice Department official, testified that Trump leaned on DOJ to declare voter fraud in the 2020 election. “Just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Trump said, according to Donoghue.
  • Pleading the Fifth: Former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he was asked during a deposition with committee investigators about letters to Georgia officials about overturning the election.
  • Plan to seize voting machines: In a meeting with DOJ officials on New Year’s Eve, an ‘agitated’ President Donald Trump told them to name a special counsel and seize voting machines from states, said former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.
  • A Great Resignation: Former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue said he told Trump that installing Jeffrey Clark as attorney general would trigger “hundreds and hundreds” of resignations in the Justice Department.
  • Pardon me: The committee played testimony claiming Reps. Matt Gaetz and Mo Brooks sought pardons from former President Donald Trump.
Jeffrey Rosen, former acting Attorney General, left, and Richard Donoghue, former acting Deputy Attorney General, before the start of the public hearing before the committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol on June 23, 2022 in Washington DC.

Cheney addresses Americans ‘deceived’ by Trump

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the GOP vice chair of the committee investigating Jan. 6., ended the panel’s fifth hearing with a message for the millions of Americans who put their trust in former President Donald Trump.

Cheney said more than a dozen Republicans have contradicted Trump’s version of events, testifying about “what actually happened in the weeks before Jan. 6.”

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