Call notes show Trump urged DOJ to declare election "corrupt"


Then-President Trump pressed top Justice Department officials in a December phone call to "just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me" and Republican congressmen, according to handwritten notes of the call released by the House Oversight Committee on Friday.

Why it matters: It’s the latest example of how aggressively Trump publicly and privately pressured the Justice Department to overturn the results of the election, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Driving the news: In a phone call on Dec. 27 with the acting attorney general at the time, Jeffrey Rosen, and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, Trump raised fraud claims that the department had already dismissed. Rosen told the then-president that the DOJ could not change the election outcome.

  • Trump also suggested that he would receive support from some Republican members of Congress. He had referred to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.) at other points in the phone call.
  • Rosen and Donoghue told Trump that they were doing their job, had looked at the allegations, and that "[m]uch of the info you’re getting is false."
  • Trump also demanded that the Justice Department "figure out what to do" with Hunter Biden, President Biden's son, saying that he needed to be "investigated for real,” according to the notes.

The big picture: The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee are both investigating Trump and his allies’ efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election based on conspiracy theories about voter fraud.

  • Donoghue's notes were handed to Congress as part of the investigation.
  • The Fulton County district attorney is also investigating Trump’s efforts to pressure Georgia election officials to overturn his loss to Biden in the state.

What they're saying: "These handwritten notes show that President Trump directly instructed our nation’s top law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency," House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.