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Trump allies ask for pardon after aiding voter fraud

by Anthony L. Gonzalez

At least five Republican Congressional allies of former US President Donald Trump have filed for a White House pardon after supporting his efforts to reverse his 2020 election defeat.

Their names came out at the end of a fifth day of hearings that focused on how Mr. Trump pressured top Justice Department officials daily in his final weeks in office to help him stay in power illegally.

Mr. Trump sought to replace Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department environmental attorney and a staunch supporter of Mr. Trump’s false claims that his defeat resulted from widespread fraud.

Trump allies ask for pardon after aiding voter fraud

That move only got underway when most other Justice Department leaders threatened to resign en masse if Trump went ahead.

“The president didn’t care about actually investigating the facts. He just wanted the Justice Department to put its stamp on the lies,” Representative Adam Kinzinger, a Republican committee member, said during Thursday’s hearing.

The commission heard from Mr. Rosen, then-Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, and former Assistant Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel Steven Engel.

Video testimonials from other White House staff members showed Republicans Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, and Scott Perry pardoned Mr. Trump. Pardons could have protected them from prosecution for their activities before or during the January 6 riots.

Republican Jim Jordan, an outspoken defender of Trump, inquired at the White House for a pardon but never asked for it for himself, said Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Perry has previously denied asking for clemency, while representatives of the other five did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Trump has never complied with the clemency requests.

Mr. Rosen said that in the days leading up to Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress met to formally certify Joe Biden as the next president, Mr. Trump repeatedly “claimed the Justice Department hadn’t done enough” to investigate false allegations. That the elections “had” been. stolen” Stolener fraud.

“Between December 23 and January 3, the president called or met me almost every day, with one or two exceptions, such as Christmas Day,” Mr. Rosen testified.

Mr. Donoghue testified that Mr. Trump told Justice Department officials, “All I’m asking you to do is say it was corrupt and leave the rest to the Republican congressmen and me.”

Former Justice Department officials called Mr. Clark incompetent and unqualified to lead the department because he made recommendations they believed would be disastrous.

Mr. Clark also pressured Mr. Donoghue and Mr. Rosen to send a letter to politicians in Georgia falsely claiming that the Justice Department had “significant concerns” about the legitimacy of Mr. Biden’s victory in the state and following Mr. Trump’s false claims of vote fraud. They both refused.

Mr. Donoghue said in a meeting in early January that Mr. Trump had been warned of “hundreds and hundreds of resignations” if Mr. Clark took over as head of the agency.

“The leadership would be gone. Jeff Clark would run a graveyard,” he said.

The hearing began shortly after it was revealed that federal police had raided Mr. Clark’s home.

Russ Vought, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget who recently hired Mr. Clark to work for his legal advocacy group Center for Renewing America, confirmed the raid on Mr. Clark’s home on Twitter.

The US Attorney’s Office confirmed there was law enforcement activity Wednesday in Lorton, Virginia, a Washington suburb near where Mr. Clark lives, but declined to comment.

Mr. Clark made a statement to the select committee, and the committee showed excerpts from it in which he repeatedly invoked his legal right not to answer questions.

On Twitter, Mr. Clark called himself “one of the top targets of the politically motivated J6 committee” earlier this year.

The Justice Department is investigating whether there was a plot to advance alternative slates of false voters in battlefield states to undo the election results.

It is also seeking copies of communications between potential voters and federal government employees and communications with Trump allies, including attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.

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