The committee hearing on January 6 today will focus on Trump’s attempts to influence the Department of Justice – watch live

Written by Javed Iqbal

Thursday will mark the fifth recent public hearing of Parliament’s committee of inquiry January 6, 2021, attack on the US capital. Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said the hearing should focus on former President Trump’s attempts to influence the Justice Department to help him topple the 2020 presidential election.

“Just as we heard today that Donald Trump was deeply involved in the plan to pressure government officials to overturn the election result, we will hear on Thursday that Donald Trump was also the driving force behind an attempt to corrupt the Justice Department,” Thompson said during Tuesday’s hearing. .

CBS News will broadcast the hearing as a special report at. 15 Eastern, led by “CBS Evening News” anchor and editor-in-chief Norah O’Donnell.

Witnesses will include Former Secretary of Justice Jeffrey Rosen; former acting attorney Richard Donoghue; and former Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel. Donoghue has testified before the committee that Trump proposed replacing Rosen with a former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

“I said, ‘Sir, I would step down right away. There’s no way I’re serving a minute under this guy, Jeff Clark,'” Donoghue recalled, saying according to a clip by Donoghue that the committee played Tuesday.

The House January 6 committee is holding its fourth hearing
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) hugs Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, former election worker in Georgia, after she testified during the fourth hearing on the investigation on January 6 in the Cannon House Office Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Rosen, the former acting justice minister, will tell the committee that the DOJ “maintained the position that the department had not been presented with any evidence of widespread fraud to an extent sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 election,” according to testimony obtained by CBS News.

“Some claimed to the former president and the public that the election was corrupt and stolen,” Rosen is expected to say. “That view was wrong back then, and it’s wrong today, and I hope our presence here today helps confirm that fact.”

Committee assistants said Thursday that the committee will argue that Trump only failed because the leadership of the Justice Department threatened to resign. There could potentially be video from Clark’s meeting with the committee, where he pleaded the fifth.

In addition to Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to say there was election fraud, the hearing will also focus on Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to apply for or with the Trump campaign to challenge the election result, committee officials said Thursday morning. The hearing will also look at how Trump wanted the Justice Department to send letters to states regarding the sanctity of their election, according to committee assistants.

Trump’s threats to replace or fire leadership in the Justice Department – which were met with opposition from a few senior leaders – will also be investigated, committee officials said.

Committee assistants said the hearing will look at Trump’s efforts to appoint a special attorney to investigate election fraud. And there will also be a focus on efforts to pressure Georgia and U.S. Attorney BJay Pak, who testified earlier this month.

GOP representative Adam Kinzinger is expected to lead much of Thursday’s hearing and questioning.

Tuesday’s hearing focused on the false voter system and threats sent to state legislators and election officials triggered by Trump’s direct verbal attacks on them or more generally the insistence that the election was stolen.

Former Electoral Officer Shaye Moss testified Tuesday that she and her family were threatened “all because of lies” that the election was stolen. With her mother and colleague Ruby Freeman by her side, Moss described the threats she received from Trump supporters due to false allegations from Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

“Many threats,” she testified. “I wish death on me … Many of them were racist. Many of them were just hateful.”

On Tuesday, Vice-Chairman Liz Cheney said she thinks Americans deserve to hear publicly from former White House adviser Pat Cipollone, who was in the White House when Trump tried to influence election officials and encouraged his own vice president to try to thwart the 2020 presidential election.

“The American people have not yet heard from Mr. Trump’s former White House lawyer, Pat Cipollone,” Cheney said in his closing statement. “Our committee is sure that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here. In fact, our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone and his office were trying to do the right thing. They were trying to stop a number of President Trump’s plans for Jan. 6. “

Rebecca Kaplan and Rob Legare contributed to this report.

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Javed Iqbal

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