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Jan. 6 House Committee holds 5th public hearing, focuses on Trump's DOJ pressure amid 2020 election

Capitol Riot Investigation
Bennie Thompson
Posted at 7:51 AM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 18:04:22-04

The fifth House Jan. 6 Committee hearing was held at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The two-hour meeting presented evidence and testimony and showed the pressure then-President Donald Trump put on the Department of Justice amid a frantic appeal by Trump loyalists to try and change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Hearing leaders focused on Trump's requests to install new leadership at the Justice Department in order to pursue unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud in the United States, which later included trying to stop the certification of votes that would lead to President Joe Biden's election to the White House.

Republican Adam Kinzinger was the Illinois congressman who led the hearing on Thursday. He said the presentations would show “how close we came to losing it all” as a country and arguments were made to try and show how the actions could have led to a "constitutional crisis."

Thursday’s hearing featured former Justice Department officials. Jeffrey A. Rosen, former acting attorney general, Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general and Steven Engel, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, who testified before the panel.

Rosen led the Justice Department in the final weeks of the Trump administration after William Barr stepped down. Barr’s taped depositions have been featured prominently in the first three committee hearings.

Rosen testified in the Senate that he joined Barr in the belief that there was no evidence of a stolen election. He told the Senate that Trump contemplated replacing him just weeks after becoming acting attorney general with Jeffrey Clark.

Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who had inside access to Trump, said he turned over footage from inside the White House which was filmed during Trump’s final weeks in office.

A large portion of the end of the hearing on Thursday which focused on Trump's efforts to install a new DOJ leader detailed how the then-president held at least one Oval Office meeting where the expressly asked what he had to lose in installing former Department of Justice official Jeffery Clark as Acting Attorney General to replace Jeffery Rosen.

Trump was told by Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue that if the replacement took place, Trump could very likely see many of the assistant attorney generals in the department resign.