Aides said the hearing would also examine discussions in the White House over the appointment of a special lawyer to investigate Trump’s allegations of voter fraud, which came up at a heated Oval Office meeting in December 2020 with Sidney Powell and Trump’s first national security adviser. , Michael Flynn.
DOJ officials, along with attorneys at the White House law firm, attended a dramatic meeting on January 3, 2021 in the Oval Office with Clark and Rosen present, where Trump ultimately backed his plan to install Clark as leader. of the Ministry of Justice – after Rosen, Donoghue and Engel had threatened to resign in protest.
According to a copy of his written statement, which he will make at Thursday’s hearing, Rosen will confirm that the Justice Department did not receive any evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“Some argued to the former president and the public that the election was corrupt and stolen. That view was wrong then, and it is wrong today, and I hope that our presence here today helps to confirm that fact,” says Rosen.
The schedule is still fluid and subject to change, but a round of consultation in July is the committee’s current goal, committee chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democratic congressman from Mississippi, told reporters Wednesday.
Clark will be a big focus
On Thursday, Clark’s behind-the-scenes efforts to help Trump’s campaign undermine the election will likely be the main focus.
Committee assistants said the hearing would focus on the role Clark played in the Justice Department, which pushed forward Trump’s false allegations of fraud. Clark planned to “reverse the department’s investigative findings regarding election fraud,” according to committee assistants, and wanted to send letters to states indicating that there had been fraud.
His push was quickly rejected by Rosen and Donoghue, leading to the Oval Office showdown, with Trump considering putting Clark at the head of the department.
While serving as acting head of civil affairs in the Department of Justice at the end of the Trump presidency, Clark hovered plans to give Georgia’s Legislature and other states backing to undermine the popular voting results. He gave credence to unfounded conspiracy theories about voter fraud, according to documents from the Justice Department, and communicated with Trump about becoming the state’s attorney, a Senate inquiry found this month.
The extent of Clark’s talks with Trump in the days before January 6 is not yet publicly known.
Clark appeared before the committee for a deposition in February and begged the fifth, according to the aides.
The chaos of the Ministry of Justice has been investigated in the past
January 6, committee aides said the panel’s inquiry answers a different set of questions than the Senate inquiry, noting that in each of the committee’s previous hearings there have been some parts of history that have been known and some unknown.
“Because the events of January 6 are beyond the immediate reach of the committee’s inquiry, this report will be made available to the House of Representatives committee for the January 6 attack, as well as the public, to assist their inquiry,” the Senate Judiciary Committee said. wrote.
In addition to providing new details about how Perry was the liaison between Trump and Clark, text messages provided by Meadows and court documents have helped the House committee fill significant gaps around the key role that the little-known Republican congressman played almost every time he plans to reverse or delay the certification of the election in 2020.
Kinzinger will lead Thursday’s hearing
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, will be the committee member conducting the bulk of the interrogation during Thursday’s hearing focusing on the Department of Justice.
The committee raised the pardons in its opening hearing. Afterwards, Perry denied that he had sought a pardon, calling it an “absolutely shameless and soulless lie.”
On CBS ‘”Face the Nation” earlier this month, Kinzinger said more information about the pardons would come out in the hearing he would lead.
Asked about Perry’s denial, Kinzinger said: “I do not want to get my hands on this. We are laying out what we need to lay out. But we will not make accusations or say things without evidence or proof. That.”
The former White House lawyer remains a question mark
However, Cipollone will not testify at Thursday’s hearing, and it is not clear if he will do so at the committee’s hearings.
Thompson said it is his hope that Cipollone will testify at a public hearing, “but you know it could happen, it could not.”
Asked if the committee had video testimony about Cipollone to play during a hearing if he refuses to testify in public, Thompson said, “I will stick to it later.”
At Tuesday’s hearing, the committee’s vice president, the Republican rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming, Cipollone out and said the panel was working to secure his testimony.
“The American people have not yet heard from Mr. Trump’s former White House lawyer, Pat Cipollone. Our committee is sure that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here. In fact, our evidence shows that Mr. Trump. “Cipollone and his office were trying to do what was right. They were trying to stop a series of President Trump’s plans for January 6,” Cheney said. “We believe the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone in person. He should appear before this committee and we are working to secure his testimony.”
Cipollone has objected to giving public testimony, but he felt he had cooperated adequately with the committee by sitting for a closed-door interview, CNN reported Tuesday.
The consultation plan remains an ongoing work
Thursday’s hearing was originally scheduled to take place last Wednesday, but the committee postponed it the day before.
The committee had originally said it would hold all its hearings in June, but now the schedule is likely to be pushed back to July.
There are at least two more hearings after Thursday that the committee has previously outlined – one focused on extremists attacking the Capitol on January 6, and another on what Trump did and did not do in response to the attack.
But with new information coming into the committee, aides on Wednesday declined to say whether it would be the only remaining hearings, or when they would be held, adding that the timeline for the hearings was driven by the investigation.
“There has been a deluge of new evidence since we started,” said committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, on Wednesday. “And we just have to breathe, review the new evidence and then incorporate it into the hearings.”
CNN’s Evan Perez and Brian Rokus contributed to this report.