'Pure insanity': Trump cited conspiracy theories to pressure DOJ to overturn 2020 election results

Michael McAuliff And Dave Goldiner, New York Daily News on

Published in Political News

Former President Donald Trump repeatedly pressured the Justice Department to overturn Joe Biden’s victory, at one point urging prosecutors to file a Supreme Court lawsuit to nullify the election, according to a new report released Tuesday by the House Oversight Committee.

The emails from Trump and his aides detailed bogus claims of fraud and conspiracy theories to win then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen’s support, prompting outrage from Rosen’s deputy.

“Pure insanity,” wrote then-Deputy AG Richard Donoghue, upon receiving a YouTube link from Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about a theory involving Italian spies.

Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) called the 232-page report a smoking gun that proves Trump wanted to block certification of Biden’s win — a campaign that eventually led to the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol.

“Trump tried to corrupt our nation’s chief law enforcement agency in a brazen attempt to overturn an election that he lost,” said Maloney.

The emails cited debunked claims of voter fraud in various swing states and outlandish claims spouted by far right-wing conspiracy theorists that Italy used military satellites to switch votes to Biden.

Maloney said the new documents prove the necessity of forcing officials like Meadows, Rosen and former Attorney General Bill Barr to testify under oath about Trump’s actions and their own actions.

“Those who aided or witnessed President Trump’s unlawful actions must answer the Committee’s questions about this attempted subversion of democracy,” the New York Democrat said.

The emails date from Dec. 14, right as Barr resigned from his post after declaring there was no evidence of widespread fraud or any other substantial issues with the presidential election.


Trump and his acolytes clearly hoped to take advantage of Rosen’s tenuous position to obtain ammunition for his campaign to block Congress from certifying the election.

Meadows demanded in one email that Rosen order prosecutors to look into possible issues with signature matching on absentee ballots in the county that includes Atlanta after Biden narrowly won Georgia.

“Engage on this issue immediately to determine if there is any truth to this allegation,” Meadows wrote.

Rosen resisted the efforts. He wrote to Donoghue deriding the request, according to the documents.

“Can you believe this?” Rosen asked. " I am not going to respond to the message.”

Rosen also said he “flatly refused” Meadows’ demand that he meet with Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, to discuss the Italian spy claims.

“(I) said I would not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his ‘witnesses,’” Rosen wrote.


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