Posted: June 23, 2022 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: just because, morning reads | Tags: Brad Carver, David Shafer, Department of Justice, Donald Trump, fake elector slates, James DeGraffenreid, January 6 Committee hearings, Jeffrey Clark, Jeffrey Rosen, Michael McDonald, National Archives, Richard Donoghue, Thomas Lane |
Timothy Horn, Leaving Kansas
The 5th January 6 hearing will be held today at 3PM. The planned 6th hearing has now been postponed until after the July 4th break, and there will be at least 2 more hearings in July. Today the committee will focus on Trump’s attempts to get the Department of Justice to help him overturn the 2020 election results. Republican Adam Kinzinger will take the lead today.
NPR: Who you’ll hear from and what to expect in today’s Jan. 6 House committee hearing.
Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue are among Thursday’s witnesses. Both refused to give in to Trump’s efforts to get the DOJ to advance his fraudulent claims of voter fraud and overturn the election.
When former Attorney General Bill Barr announced his resignation in December 2020, Trump badgered Rosen and Donoghue in at least nine calls and meetings, according to a report by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen,” Trump told the two men, according to their testimony.
Also to appear in Thursday’s hearing is Steven Engel, who headed DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel. Engel was one of the officials who told the former president he would have no choice but to quit if Trump replaced the acting attorney general with environmental lawyer Jeffrey Bossert Clark. Clark was reportedly more willing to go along with Trump’s fraudulent claims of a stolen election.
Several other DOJ lawyers, including Donoghue, also threatened to quit if Clark was appointed.
“The President said ‘Suppose I do this. Suppose I replace him, Jeff Rosen, with him, Jeff Clark. What do you do?’ And I said ‘Sir, I would resign immediately. There is no way I’m serving one minute under this guy, Jeff Clark,'” Donoghue said in a piece of video testimony played at Tuesday’s hearing.
Clark appeared before the House committee in February for a deposition, but pled the Fifth dozens of times.
More from CNN: What to watch for in Thursday’s January 6 committee hearing.
Three top officials who led the Justice Department in the final days of the Trump administration will testify at Thursday’s hearing at 3pm ET about how the then-President and his allies sought to enlist the department to give their baseless fraud allegations credibility and how Trump considered replacing the acting attorney general with an official who bought into his claims of fraud, according to committee aides.
Aides said that the hearing would also scrutinize discussions inside the White House about the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump’s claims of voter fraud, which came up at a heated December 2020 Oval Office meeting with Sidney Powell and Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
But the main focus of the hearing will be Jeffrey Clark:
Committee aides said the hearing would focus on the role that Clark played inside the Justice Department pushing Trump’s false claims of fraud. Clark planned to “reverse the department’s investigative conclusions regarding election fraud,” according to committee aides, and wanted to send out letters to states suggesting there had been fraud.
His push was swiftly rejected by Rosen and Donoghue, which led to the Oval Office showdown where Trump considered putting Clark in charge of the department.
While serving as the acting head of civil cases at the Justice Department at the end of the Trump presidency, Clark floated plans to give Georgia’s legislature and other states backing to undermine the popular vote results. He gave credence to unfounded conspiracy theories of voter fraud, according to documents from the Justice Department, and communicated with Trump about becoming the attorney general, a Senate investigation found this month.
The extent of Clark’s talks with Trump in the days before January 6 aren’t yet publicly known.
Ryan J. Reilly at NBC News: Who is Jeffrey Clark? Jan. 6 panel seeks to make Trump’s man at DOJ famous.
Clark took a pretty standard path for a conservative lawyer: Harvard University, Georgetown Law, clerk for Ronald Reagan-appointed federal appeals Judge Danny Julian Boggs and a partnership at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, with a stint in the Justice Department’s environmental division during George W. Bush’s administration. His unusually long Justice Department biography even included, for some reason, details about his elementary school….
Timothy Horn, Blue Bug (shadow selfie)
After the 2020 election, according to his fellow Republican-appointed colleagues at the Justice Department, Clark began to elicit concerns.
“What’s going on with Jeff Clark?” Trump-appointed acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen recalled in an interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee. He added that Clark brought up “internet theories” about voting machines’ being hacked via smart thermostats. “This is inconsistent with how I perceived him in the past.”
Rosen started realizing something was “off-kilter,” that “something odd was going on with Jeff Clark,” when it was learned that he had, in violation of a Justice Department rule banning contact between Justice Department officials and the White House except through proper channels, met with Trump.
“It’s even more evident in hindsight, but at the time, I did think, ‘He’s meeting with the president and now he wants to be briefed by the DNI on thermostats?’ plus the title change. Just what is going on here with Jeff Clark?” [….]
Clark is still on the Trump train and is still a conspiracy theorist.
Previous testimony indicates Clark was a true believer who was convinced the election had been stolen. To his colleagues at the Justice Department, according to the testimony, he was the butt of the joke, a guy who — in spite of his education — lacked the ability to discern fact from fiction on the World Wide Web….
Clark has continued to be a presence in MAGA world. He has an account with a few hundred followers on Truth Social, Trump’s social media platform, where his Trump-mimicking handle is @RealJeffClark.
He has said the Jan. 6 committee is “power drunk and unconstitutional,” and he has shared stories from the conspiracy website Gateway Pundit, including a story about the debunked propaganda movie “2000 Mules.” He has written for the conspiracy website Revolver News about what he described as efforts to “Kill All the Trump Lawyers — By Canceling Them.” He’s making appearances on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. And he’s trying to raise money, telling would-be donors that he has “been targeted for cancellation by the hyper-partisan January 6 Committee, the ‘mainstream’ media, and a collection of leftist law professors and supposed ‘Republicans’ who are conveniently never-Trumpers.”
The hearing should be interesting. According to Luke Broadwater of The New York Times,
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol plans to unveil new evidence on Thursday about how President Donald J. Trump tried to manipulate the Justice Department to help him cling to power after he lost the 2020 election, aides said on Wednesday….
The story of how Mr. Trump attempted to intervene in the workings of the Justice Department to keep himself in office has been well documented by both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Jan. 6 committee, but aides to the House inquiry said Thursday’s hearing will contain new revelations.
Meanwhile, the current DOJ has stepped up its investigation of Trump’s efforts to get state legislatures to submit “alternate” slates of electors from swing states that Biden won.
The Washington Post: Jan. 6 probe expands with fresh subpoenas in multiple states.
Federal agents investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol on Wednesdaydropped subpoenas on people in multiple locations, widening the probe of how political activists supporting President Donald Trump tried to use invalid electors to thwart Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
Agents conducted court-authorized law enforcement activity Wednesday morning at different locations, FBI officials confirmed to The Washington Post. One was the home of Brad Carver, a Georgia lawyer who allegedly signed a document claiming to be a Trump elector. The other was the Virginia home of Thomas Lane, who worked on the Trump campaign’s efforts in Arizona and New Mexico. The FBI officials did not identify the people associated with those addresses, but public records list each of the locations as the home addresses of the men.
Among those who received a subpoena Wednesday was David Shafer, the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, who served as a Trump elector in that state, people familiar with the investigation said. Shafer’s lawyer declined to comment.
Separately, at least some of the would-be Trump electors in Michigan received subpoenas, according to a person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. But it was not immediately clear whether that activity was related to a federal probe or a state-level criminal inquiry.
The precise nature of the information being sought by the Justice Department at the homes of Carver and Lane was not immediately clear.
Officials have previously said that the Justice Department and the FBI were examining the issue of false electors, whom Trump and others hoped might be approved by state legislators in a last-ditch bid to keep Trump in the White House. Until now, however, those investigative efforts seemed to primarily involve talking to people in Republican circles who knew of the scheme and objected; the subpoenas issued Wednesday suggest the Justice Department is now moving to question at least some of those who allegedly agreed to pursue the effort.
Later yesterday, 8NewsNow in Las Vegas reported that the FBI searched the home of the Chairman of the Nevada GOP and took his phone: I-Team sources: FBI seizes Nevada GOP chairman’s phone as part of fake elector investigation.
FBI agents served a search warrant Wednesday on Nevada’s top GOP official, sources told the 8 News Now I-Team’s George Knapp.
Agents seized the cell phone of state Republican chairman Michael McDonald, reportedly as part of an investigation into the fake elector scheme initiated at the end of the 2020 presidential election.
A second search warrant was issued for state party secretary James DeGraffenreid, who also signed the document, but FBI agents could not locate him Wednesday, sources told Knapp.
In December 2020, the 8 News Now I-Team reported the Nevada Republican Party’s six electors signed paperwork signaling their support for former President Donald Trump in a symbolic ceremony devoid of any legal merit, which was held in Carson City and coincided with the official state-sanctioned tally on Dec. 14, 2020….
The certificate received by the National Archives looks much different than the official state-sealed one and reads, “We, the undersigned, being the duly elected and qualified electors for president and vice president of the United States of America from the State of Nevada, do hereby certify six electoral votes for Trump.”
In a statement after the event, Nevada GOP chair Michael McDonald said the party’s electors convened in Carson City due to ongoing legal battles seeking to overturn the election results. Nevada Republicans lost all court cases involving allegations of voter fraud.
CNN: DOJ subpoenas Georgia Republican Party chairman as it expands Trump fake elector probe.
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The freaks on the Supreme Court want to kills us all
That will affect Massachusetts, unfortunately.
Extremist maniacs. Must stockpile gun in case the brutes strike back. Nat Turner has a long shadow.
Love the paintings. They put me in mind of Hopper a little.
So Sean Penn showed up to these hearings?
You know, the DOJ people are well aware of the illegality of what Trump wanted. Enough so they threatened to resign en mass. But they’d still vote for him ? (Well, I assume they would) Their brand loyalty knows no boundaries! When are they going to dump him? When?
“I’ll gladly risk fascist dictatorship tomorrow to own the libs today!” ~ Wimpy Repugs
Thank you for asking the question. It is hard to understand. I feel that way about other questions that are related to Republican loyalty despite knowing the illegalities that were occurring. Some, maybe all, may have to do with salvaging careers and the chance to serve in government under Republicans. But it went so very far. I am hearing from more serious Republicans in this hearing than perhaps ever before in my life. It’s an interesting feeling. Do I feel moved by Rusty Bowers of AZ when he says he thinks the constitution is god given? Yes, no and maybe. I feel that way about a lot of what these guys have to say. For Jeff Rosen and Bill Barr to draw the line here but not at misrepresenting the Muller Report bothers me, but it is interesting.
Rod Rosenstein misrepresented the Muller report and then resigned and Jeff Rosen replaced him under Barr, so maybe my last sentence is accurate but draws the Muller Report timeline out too far.
Sets my teeth on edge every time well-meaning people (to say nothing of religionists) talk about “god given” Constitution, “sacred” voting rights, and anything in that vein.
The country was founded on separation of church and state. It’s a core Enlightenment value at the heart of democratic rule of law. Religious terms are not (necessarily) synonymous with “important,” “essential,” “integrity,” and so on.
I wish those of us over here, firmly on the side of the angels (ahem…), would stop misusing terms because it cements the wrong connection of ideas in people’s minds.
Sort of like all those decades we let the forced birth crowd run around under color of “pro-life.”
I never call them “pro-life.” Never.
Well, SCOTUS really did it. Roe v. Wade is overturned.
This did not have to happen.
Good job everyone wouldn’t vote for Hills, for whatever reason.
I personally put thousands of dollars into her campaign.
So did my parents.
To make sure this day did not come.
So, good job to the Bernie Bots, the Steiners, the evangelicals, the whole lot, who gave us this atrocious SCOTUS.
Yes, and good job to the people who didn’t bother to vote.
Don’t forget Susan Sarandon and Chris Hayes.
Women de jure cannot control their own bodies. And we have jackbooted thugs guarding the goons destroying human rights.
The weirdest thing about dictatorship is how in so many ways at the moment in one’s own personal kitchen, nothing has changed. Yet.