Trump pushed DOJ to overturn 2020 election results, House committee says

  • The House Oversight Committee accused former President Donald Trump of pressuring top Department of Justice officials to take steps to overturn Joe Biden's victory.
  • The committee cited handwritten notes taken by Richard Donoghue, then the acting deputy attorney general, during a Dec. 27 phone call with Trump and former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.
  • Trump also suggested on the call that he was considering replacing the agency's leadership, the notes show.

Former President Donald Trump before leaving office pressured senior officials in the Department of Justice to overturn Joe Biden's presidential election victory, the House Oversight and Reform Committee said Friday.

The committee cited handwritten notes taken during a Dec. 27 phone call with Trump and then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

"Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen," Trump instructed the DOJ officials, according to the notes by Richard Donoghue, then the acting deputy attorney general, who was also on the call.

Trump also suggested on the call that he was considering replacing the agency's leadership, the notes show.

Donoghue's account of the call shows Trump "directly instructed our nation's top law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency," said Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., in a press release.

The House committee has already started scheduling witness interviews "to investigate the full extent of the former President's corruption," Maloney said.

A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on the committee's release.

Trump has never conceded defeat to Biden. After his loss, Trump aggressively spread a wide array of baseless conspiracy theories in support of the false claim that the election was rigged against him.

His lawyers and his allies filed dozens of lawsuits in key states, all aiming to reverse Biden's victory. None succeeded in flipping votes or changing the outcomes of a state's election.

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Donoghue's notes are just the latest materials that House investigators have held up as evidence of Trump's efforts to lean on government institutions to challenge his electoral defeat.

Last month, Maloney's committee dumped a cache of more than 200 pages of emails between DOJ officials and White House staff, which allegedly showed an effort to ask the Supreme Court nullify key states' election results.

Earlier this week, the DOJ told a number of former Trump administration officials that they can cooperate with House and Senate probes surrounding Trump's election-reversal efforts in the final months of his one term in office.

Maloney's committee has sent letters to Rosen and Donoghue, asking them to appear for transcribed interviews. The panel has also asked to interview former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung Jin Pak and former acting U.S. Attorney for that district Bobby Christine.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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