- The Washington Times
Thursday, June 23, 2022

A special House committee examining former President Donald Trump’s culpability in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol is far from wrapping up.

Now conducting a second week of hearings, the committee isn’t planning to let up anytime soon in its quest to implicate Mr. Trump, not only for instigating the riot but also for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. 


“At this point, our committee has just begun to show America the evidence that we have gathered,” Rep. Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and one of two GOP lawmakers on the nine-member panel, said. “There is much more to come out in our hearings. And in our report.”

The panel convened its fifth hearing this month on Thursday, pulling back the curtain on the actions of Mr. Trump and his supporters, including GOP lawmakers, who attempted to pressure the Department of Justice to convince some swing state legislatures to overturn election results they believed were riddled with fraud.

The panel featured three top Justice Department officials including former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who took over after Attorney General Bill Barr resigned in December 2020.

Mr. Rosen, along with Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and Steve Engel, an assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, described efforts to convince Mr. Trump the fraud claims were without merit. 


SEE ALSO: House Jan. 6 Committee fails to serve Rep. Mo Brooks, has to reissue subpoena


Mr. Donoghue recalled a scene in the Oval Office in which DOJ lawyers argued against Mr. Trump’s plan to elevate a lower-level Justice Department environmental lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, who wanted to help Mr. Trump pressure states to overturn election results.

In videotaped testimony, former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann described his conversation with Mr. Clark over plans to send a letter to swing states to pressure them not to certify the election for Mr. Biden, citing fraud claims not supported by the DOJ. 

“When he finished discussing what he planned on doing, I said, good, f——— a———,” Mr. Herschmann said. “Congratulations, you just admitted your first step or act you would take as attorney general would be committing a felony.”

The special committee is made up entirely of lawmakers appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

It has met behind closed doors for months, hearing depositions from former Trump aides and election officials. 

Republicans say the investigation is politically motivated and Democrats are using it to distract from skyrocketing inflation and high gas prices that have damaged their midterm election prospects.

Mr. Trump was impeached for inciting the riot, but the Senate failed to convict him of the charges. He continues to argue the election was stolen by Mr. Biden.

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.


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