Donald Trump was a desperate, frantic, panicked man after the 2020 election. He saw the veil of protection evaporate in front of his very eyes. No longer would he have a weaponized DOJ to protect him from everything. No longer would he be able to leverage the United States government - and all of its secrets - to personally benefit him. No longer would he be able to steal from the government to pay for his golf outings, his overseas trips, his insanely stupid gorge-a-thon fast food parties. He was and is, quite simply, a madman.
The New York Times is reporting that Donald Trump waged an even more high pressure campaign to get the top brass at the DOJ to try to assist him in overturning the 2020 election that the public was aware of. Notes from various calls between TFG and the DOJ show frequently, and pathetically, he tried to pressure top officials to "declare that the election was corrupt even though they had found no instances of widespread fraud", which would allow him and his allies in Congress and the media to use this as a jumping-off point to overturn the election results.
The demands were extreme to the point where Associate Attorney General Richard Donoghue, started taking detailed notes. On one of the calls on December 27th, Trump pressured Acting AG Jeffrey Rosen regarding disproven voter fraud claims. When told by Rosen and Donoghue that the DOJ had "no power to change the outcome of the election", Trump replied with the following:
“Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me”
During the course of the call, Trump did not name lawmakers that he would utilize in his efforts to overturn the free and fair election, but during other times in the call he did mention Jim Jordan, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Senator Ron Johnson. None of the lawmakers had any comment when contacted by the Times. It will be curious what comment they will have when they are brought in front of the House of Representatives for further investigation.
The DOJ provided these notes to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Friday. Typically, the DOJ has fought tooth and nail to keep communications between the President and the Attorney General secret, but this is an extraordinary situation and an exception was made. In addition to these notes being released, the Biden White House and Biden DOJ told former Trump officials that they "can provide unrestricted testimony to investigators with the House Oversight and Reform and the Senate Judiciary Committees" with no assertion of executive privilege that Donald Trump used to shield himself and his activity for 4 years.
Upon receipt of Donohue's notes, Chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Representative Carolyn Maloney, issued this statement:
“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"
When Rosen and Donoghue refused to bend to Trump's will, he levied this vague threat, mentioning that maybe he could replace Rosen with Jeff Clark, saying: “People tell me Jeff Clark is great, I should put him in...people want me to replace D.O.J. leadership.”
We were so close to losing this country to a corrupt madman. Although many in the Trump cabinet were corrupt, evil, hateful criminals, we did have some guardrails - it appears Rosen and Donoghue were 2 of them. Will we be so lucky the next time?