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Donald Trump Elections Justice Department The Trump Adminstration

Ex-DOJ Official Facing Disbarment And Criminal Charges For His Part In Trump’s ‘Election Subversion Scheme’

After it became clear that voters had chosen Joe Biden to be the next president, then-assistant attorney general Jeffrey Clark went into action at the Justice Department, actively trying to get states such as Arizona and Georgia to overturn their results and declare Donald Trump the winner, even though he had lost by an overwhelming margin.

Those actions, in what is being called a coordinated “election subversion scheme,” now have Clark facing disbarment and the possibility of being charged with criminal offenses for his efforts to interfere with the election, according to The Guardian:

The mounting scrutiny of the ex-assistant attorney general, who led the justice department’s environment division for almost two years and then ran its civil division, was provoked by a report from the Senate judiciary committee whose Democratic chairman, Richard Durbin, has asked the DC bar’s disciplinary counsel to examine Clark’s conduct and possibly sanction him.

The panel’s exhaustive 394-page report followed an eight-month inquiry, and included voluntary testimony from former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, revealing how Clark schemed privately with Trump about ways to pressure Rosen to help launch an inquiry into baseless charges of voting fraud in Georgia and other states that Joe Biden won.

Former DOJ inspector general Michael Bromwich says Clark clearly crossed the line and should indeed face sanctions for his actions:

“It’s no mystery why Clark is playing hard to get with Congress. He faces a meaningful threat of criminal liability based on the facts contained in the Senate report.

“The Senate report provides overwhelming evidence that Jeffrey Clark became a witting pawn of Trump’s in trying to launch a coup in the justice department, which would then serve as the launching pad for the broader coup whose aim was to overturn the results of the election.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) echoed Bromwich, noting:

“Either Jeffrey Clark was an enterprising sycophant looking to score points with a transactional president, or he was a cog in a much larger election-theft scheme. Clark’s testimony under oath will be very important to arrive at the full truth, which is why it’s very hard to imagine he avoids testifying – either before Congress or a grand jury.”

Testimony from Clark could also implicate others inside the administration — former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Mike Pence, and Trump — in the attempted coup that reached its apex on Jan. 6 when thousands of pro-Trump protesters stormed the Capitol and staged an illegal insurrection.

Additionally, if any members of Congress played a role in the Capitol attack and were part of the larger conspiracy, they too could be facing expulsion from Congress and referral to the Justice Department for criminal charges including sedition.

Those most likely to be implicated include Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX and Josh Hawley (R-MO), along with GOP Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jim Jordan (OH), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA).

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Crime Domestic Terrorism Donald Trump Justice Department The Trump Adminstration

DOJ Will Charge Bannon For Criminal Contempt ‘Within A Matter Of Days’: Report

The House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection acted on Thursday to find former Trump adviser Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress and the Department of Justice will charge him “within a matter of days,” according to Pete Williams of NBC News.

Appearing on “MTP Daily,” Williams was asked by host Chuck Todd how quickly the DOJ would act against Bannon now that they have the referral from the House committee. He responded:

“I think promptly. They will get the referral from Congress. Congress will act quickly. The U.S. Attorney will act within a matter of days.”

Williams made his comments shortly after the chairman of the House Select Committee, Bennie Thompson, made it clear he would indeed refer Bannon for charges:

Mr. Bannon has declined to cooperate with the Select Committee and is instead hiding behind the former President’s insufficient, blanket, and vague statements regarding privileges he has purported to invoke. We reject his position entirely. The Select Committee will not tolerate defiance of our subpoenas, so we must move forward with proceedings to refer Mr. Bannon for criminal contempt. I’ve notified the Select Committee that we will convene for a business meeting Tuesday evening to vote on adopting a contempt report.

Others who have been subpoenaed by the committee — former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, and Defense Department aide Kash Patel — are being given temporary postponements before they are referred for contempt, according to a committee spokesperson:

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Donald Trump Justice Department The Trump Adminstration

Jan. 6 Committee Interviewed Trump’s Acting AG For Eight Hours On Wednesday: Report

 

Jeffrey Rosen, the former acting Attorney General in the final days of the Trump administration, was interviewed for eight hours on Wednesday by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

According to the Washington Post, Rosen told the committee about Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and how some in the Justice Department resisted those moves:

The committee on Wednesday also took eight hours of closed-door testimony from former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen regarding the final days of the Trump administration, according to two people familiar with the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private testimony, as it also focuses on witnesses willing to voluntarily meet with the panel.

Many of the questions the committee had for Rosen dealt with his interactions with former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, who was subpoenaed by the committee on Wednesday:

Clark authored and circulated a draft letter dated Dec. 28, addressed to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) that urged officials in the state to investigate unfounded claims of fraud,” writes the paper. “The Washington Post has previously reported that in early January, Trump entertained a plan to oust acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and replace him with Clark, who was open to pursuing Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results.

Clark is one of the key figures in Trump’s attempt to use specious claims of voter fraud to decertify the election and allow him to remain as president. Some Republicans in Congress also took part in those efforts, with Sens. Ted Cruz (TX) and Josh Hawley (MO) refusing to approve the electoral votes when both houses met in a joint session to officially name Joe Biden as president.

Rosen’s testimony is seen as essential to determining what former Trump administration officials should be charged with crimes when the Jan. 6 committee issues its final report, the Post notes:

Rosen recounted his detailed handwritten notes with the committee and walked through how DOJ deployed resources on Jan 6, pushing back against the notion that the department was slow to act that day, according to this person. The former acting attorney general testified that he spoke with all of congressional leadership on Jan. 6, along with at least one senior White House official.

The committee is in the process of constructing a comprehensive timeline, starting from the time Rosen was preparing for Jan. 6 to when Trump was considering replacing him with Clark, according to one of the persons familiar with Wednesday’s testimony.

Trump has told former aides such as Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows to ignore subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee, which could lead to them being charged with contempt and arrested.

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Donald Trump Elections GOP Justice Department The Trump Adminstration

Bill Barr Told Trump He’d Lose The 2020 Election Because ‘You Act Like An A**hole’

In April of 2020, then-Attorney General William Barr explained to Donald Trump what he thought about the president’s chances of winning a second term in office, and what he told Trump almost certainly enraged him.

Business Insider reports that based on the new book, Peril, written by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Barr’s analysis of why Trump likely had little chance of reelection was bracingly honest:

“In my opinion,” Barr told Trump during a tense Oval Office meeting, according to the book, “this is not a base election. Your base is critical, and you’ll get it out. And there are a lot of people out there, independents and Republicans in the suburbs of the critical states that think you’re an asshole. They think you act like an asshole and you got to, you got to start taking that into account.”

Indeed, Trump was said to be obsessed with winning by turning out his most eager supporters, but others reportedly warned him that wouldn’t be enough to carry him to victory. Despite that, Trump never tried to reach out to independents or moderate Republican, many of whom he publicly chastised for not being with him on every single issue.

Barr also told Trump that his sense of how the nation was leaning was mistaken and would lead to his defeat:

The attorney general went on to tell the president that he had become a Beltway “captive” and needed to appeal to a broader group of voters than just his diehard base, the book said.

Barr is said to have debated how best to approach the conversation with Trump last year, while the US was grappling with a deadly and widespread pandemic and as the president refused to acknowledge the reality of the threat.

According to “Peril,” he decided the best option was to be direct and told Trump that with the way he was handling things, “you’re going to lose” the election.

Trump repeatedly lashed out at his perceived enemies during the 2020 campaign, which only served to make him look petty and childish. Barr brought that to the president’s attention, too:

“Your base cares about seeing [former FBI director James Comey] and the rest of those guys held accountable, but these other people don’t,” Barr said, according to the book. “They don’t care about your fucking grievances. And it just seems that every time you’re out there, you’re talking about your goddamn grievances.”

The solution, Barr believed, was for Trump to focus on the issues that mattered most to Americans: The COVID-19 pandemic and faltering economy, “not all this other shit, not every grievance you have.”

In the end, Trump refused to accept Barr’s advice, telling the AG, “I need to be a fighter. I’ve gotten where I am because I’m willing to fight.”

But all that fighting only succeeded in making Trump a failed, one-term, twice-impeached loser. And while he may think he can run again in 2024 and win, deep in what passes for his heart he knows he’ll lose if he tries. He’s destined to be one of the biggest failures in U.S. history.

 

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Crime Domestic Terrorism Justice Department

Search Warrant Shows FBI Is Investigating Some Capitol Insurrectionists For ‘Seditious Conspiracy’

The FBI is investigating some of the people who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection for seditious conspiracy, a serious federal crime that can be punished by up to 20 years in prison.

Mother Jones reports that an attorney for the right-wing militia group known as the Oath Keepers found out some of her clients are under investigation for seditious conspiracy when the FBI seized her cell phone:

“Kellye SoRelle, the Oath Keepers’ general counsel, tweeted Wednesday that the FBI had seized her phone. The action would seem unusual, since SoRelle is a lawyer who says she has provided advice to defendants facing prosecution or investigation due to their actions on January 6. ‘[T]hey have all my clients and my comms,’ she commented in a message to Mother Jones. ‘[It’s] unethical as shit on their part.'”

It’s unethical to seize potential evidence from an attorney who represents accused domestic terrorists? Apparently, Ms. SoRelle isn’t familiar with the way the Justice Department pursued the Black Panthers, Weather Underground, and Ku Klux Klan, all of whom were suspected of committing acts of terrorism on U.S. soil.

So far, prosecutors have charged 17 members of the Oath Keepers with being part of a conspiracy to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.

The founder of the group, Stewart Rhodes has not yet been charged as part of the electoral interference conspiracy, but Mother Jones notes that indictments already filed make clear that he was indeed part of a larger plan to attack the Capitol:

“Rhodes is not named, but is identifiable as ‘PERSON ONE’ in court documents detailing his extensive online and phone communications with Oath Keeper members ahead of and during the siege of Congress. FBI agents seized Rhodes’ phone in May as part of their investigation. Rhodes had stated previously that he believes he may ‘go to jail’ over the events of January 6, but he denies wrongdoing and has accused prosecutors of trying to build a false case against him and fellow Oath Keepers.”

Bizarrely, SoRelle is now claiming that the seizure of her phone is part of a conspiracy involving MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, who has spread an absurd conspiracy theory that “Chinese hackers and Democratic Party officials” stole the 2020 election from Donald Trump.

However, the warrant itself makes clear exactly why SoRelle’s phone was taken:

“The warrant says the search is related to potential violations of nine criminal statutes: Those include crimes with which many people who entered the Capitol have been charged, from destruction of government property to trespassing and obstruction of Congress. The agents are also seeking evidence of false statements and obstruction of justice, including destruction of evidence, the warrant says.”

The actions taken against the Oath Keepers and their legal counsel are also potentially bad news for former President Donald Trump, who could also be charged as part of a seditious conspiracy if he had any contact with Proud Boys members prior to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Trump had claimed executive privilege to keep from turning over documents related to his knowledge of the Capitol insurrection, but Reuters reports the Biden administration has turned over all Trump-era information to the Jan. 6 House Select Committee. It’s safe to assume the DOJ will also have access to that information.