Trump ignored lack of election fraud, pressured DOJ officials to ‘just say’ election was ‘corrupt’

Perry was one of several GOP lawmakers who have requested pardons, according to an interview given to the select panel by Cassidy Hutchinson, a former special assistant to Trump. She told the Jan. 6 committee that Reps. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Mo Brooks, R-Ga., Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Perry asked for presidential pardons in the wake of the Capitol attack.

Clark proposed a draft letter on Justice Department letterhead dated Dec. 28, 2020, saying the agency had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.” The letter also recommended that Georgia’s legislature convene a special session to address the election allegations raised. The special session would be for the legislature to take “whatever action is necessary” to ensure one of the slates of electors cast on Dec. 14 would be accepted by Congress.

Further, the document said alternate slates of electors from Georgia and other states supporting Trump had been sent to Washington, D.C., to be counted by Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress met to count states’ Electoral College votes; Trump and others pressed Pence to ensure that count was never finished, and the matter was sent back to enough states to make Trump the winner. That letter, which was never sent, was authored by Clark and Ken Klukowski, a former White House lawyer.

Eric Herschmann, a former White House lawyer, said Clark’s plan to overturn the election was not legal: “Congratulations, you just admitted your first step or act you take as attorney general would be committing a felony,” Herschmann said, although Trump never formally made Clark the acting attorney general.

‘Great deal to lose’

Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, one of two Republicans on the nine-member select committee, led Thursday’s witness questioning and the panel’s replaying of events inside DOJ — and how Trump sought to install Clark, who was seen as someone who would heed any and all of his orders. Clark’s only qualification was that “he would do whatever the president wanted him to do, including overthrowing a free and a fair democratic election,” Kinzinger said.

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