There are more than a few lawyers that have been astounded by how it is that DOJ has yet to charge Trump over his pressure and manipulation of the Department of Justice itself. The public has long known that acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen was told to sign a letter placed before him, one stating that the DOJ found fraud in various aspects of the election, and then told to leave the rest to Trump and Congress.
The evidence is beyond stunning.
Prior to Trump, a phone call from the president to the attorney general about any specific case touching upon the White House, never mind the president himself, would be considered a shocking breach of duty and likely grounds for impeachment. Similarly, akin to laws that make it illegal to pressure election workers, the law must prevent pressuring an attorney general, even if it is a weird form of obstruction of justice, or – more likely, attempted fraud.
Again, it is hard to believe that DOJ would let the manipulation of the Department itself go if only as a matter of precedent, it must protect its independence.
According to the New York Times, today’s hearing will focus on Trump’s desperation, a willingness to direct the nation’s top prosecutor to subvert justice. When Rosen refused, the only thing that stopped Trump from replacing Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, head of the Environmental Division, was the threat of mass resignations. According to the Times:
Committee aides said the panel would detail how Mr. Trump unsuccessfully pushed department officials to falsely declare that there was widespread fraud in the election, file lawsuits to benefit his campaign and appoint a conspiracy theorist as a special counsel to investigate the election. It will also trace his failed efforts to send false letters to state officials to subvert the election results and, finally, to replace the acting attorney general, who refused to go along with his plans.
Mr. Trump ultimately backed off after agency officials threatened mass resignations, but the committee is presenting his actions as a critical strand in a multilayered effort by the former president to subvert the election.
The witnesses scheduled to testify are Jeffrey A. Rosen, the former acting attorney general; Richard P. Donoghue, the former acting deputy attorney general; and Steven A. Engel, the former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel.
Rosen’s testimony alone should be enough to convict Trump of attempted fraud or sedition. There is no question (anymore) that by the time Trump pressured Rosen, Trump knew he lost the election and he knew that the plot to replace the electors was illegal. Trump wanted the letter stating the department found fraud as justification for using fake electors.
It will be gripping and like so much evidence before it, highly damning. Until Trump put his hand on the Bible and became president, a phone call from the president to the attorney general to even discuss an executive branch case would shock the conscience of Washington. That was then. But you can bet the Committee will highlight the norms.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.