Former President Trump instructed top officials at the Department of Justice to call the 2020 general election “corrupt” in support of his efforts to overturn the election, according to notes from a DOJ official.
The instructions were given during a Dec. 27 phone conversation with then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue.
Handwritten notes taken by Donoghue and released by the House Oversight Committee on Friday show that Trump told the DOJ officials to “just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.”
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Rosen reportedly then told Trump that the Justice Department “can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election.”
“Doesn’t work that way,” he added.
The House Oversight Committee released the notes Friday as part of their investigation into how the former president attempted to push false claims about the November election and overturn the results.
During the call, the officials repeatedly informed Trump that there was no evidence to support the election was fraudulent and told him the information he was receiving was “false.”
“Sir we have done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews, major allegations are not supported by evidence,” Rosen and Donoghue said according to the notes. “We are doing our job.”
“Much of the info you’re getting is false,” they added.
Trump reportedly told the officials, “People are angry” and “blaming DOJ” for “inaction.”
“You guys may not be following the internet the way I do,” he added.
Trump further urged the officials to go to Fulton County, Georgia, to verify the ballot signatures themselves.
“We have an obligation to tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election,” Trump told them, according to the notes.
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The conversation between Trump and the top DOJ officials is not the only call to be publicly released that depicts the former president’s attempts to overturn the election results.
In an audio file released in January, Trump could be heard instructing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find votes.”
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” the then-president said to Georgia’s top election official.
Trump has not publicly commented on the notes released Friday.
“These handwritten notes show that President 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,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. said in a statement. “The Committee has begun scheduling interviews with key witnesses to investigate the full extent of the former President’s corruption, and I will exercise every tool at my disposal to ensure all witness testimony is secured without delay.”
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The DOJ authorized six witnesses on Monday to appear before the committee, stating that it had “compelling legislative interests” in understanding the “extraordinary events” surrounding President Trump’s conduct.
These officials have been authorized to provide “unrestricted testimony” to the committee without asserting claims of privilege.