Update (10/8/21): A day after the Senate Judiciary committee came out with a report on former President Donald Trump and the 2021 election, President Joe Biden announced he will not invoke executive privilege on to prevent the House committee investigating the Capitol riots from obtaining requested documents.
The committee asked for the documents back in August. They included communication within the White House under Trump and information about planning and funding for rallies held in Washington.
Trump lawyers had sought to talk block former Trump officials from testifying in front of the committee, citing executive privilege. In a letter to the Archivist of the United States, White House counsel Dana Remus writes Biden has determined that invoking executive privilege “is not in the best interests of the United States.”
Original Story (10/7/21): The Democratic-run Senate Judiciary Committee released a report Thursday that went into detail about the actions the committee says former President Donald Trump took to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The video above shows Sen. Dick Durbin discussing the vote.
“In attempting to enlist DOJ for personal, political purposes in an effort to maintain his hold on the White House, Trump grossly abused the power of the presidency,” the report read.
Among the report’s findings:
- Former President Trump repeatedly asked DOJ leadership to endorse his claims that the election was stolen and assist his efforts to overturn the results.
- Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to initiate election fraud investigations on multiple occasions.
- Trump allies with links to the “Stop the Steal” movement and the Jan. 6 Capitol riots participated in the pressure campaign against the DOJ.
“Prior to the 2020 general election, DOJ’s longstanding policy and practice was to avoid taking overt steps in election fraud investigations until after votes were certified,” the report read. “Then-Attorney General Barr weakened this decades-long policy shortly before and after the 2020 election.”
Meanwhile, in its own minority report, Senate Judiciary Republicans said Trump “did not use the Justice Department to overturn the election”.
“President Trump’s concerns centered on ‘legitimate complaints’ and ‘reports of crimes’ and how they impacted the American people and the electoral system,” the minority report read. “The public integrity section and election crimes branch were historically passive in their review of election- related allegations.”
The report also went into things committee Republicans say Trump did not do. This includes sending a draft letter recommending some states with reported voter irregularities hold a legislative session to choose different electors, as well as firing then acting AG Rosen or anyone at the DOJ or FBI.
“Witnesses testified that President Trump’s outreach to DOJ officials focused on making sure they were ‘aware of election fraud allegations and that they were doing their job to investigate them,” the report read. “President Trump told Rosen that he did not expect the DOJ to overturn the election.”
These reports come the same day The Associated Press reported that Trump intends to use his executive privilege in the Congressional investigation into the Capitol riots. This, according to letter sent by lawyers for Trump, one of which was received by a person who spoke to AP anonymously.