What to expect January 6 hearings day 5:

Aides said the hearing would also examine discussions inside the White House about appointing a special counsel to investigate Trump’s voter fraud allegations, which were raised during a heated office meeting. December 2020 oval with Sidney Powell and Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael. Flynn.

Trump’s push began what was a tumultuous time at the Justice Department in the run-up to Jan. 6, 2021, when the then-president was considering replacing Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, then the city’s top energy lawyer. department that had pushed Trump’s fraud allegations inside the Justice Department. Department.

DOJ officials, along with attorneys from the White House Counsel’s Office, took part in a dramatic Jan. 3, 2021, meeting in the Oval Office with Clark and Rosen in attendance, where Trump ultimately backed out of his plan to to install Clark as head of the Justice Department – after Rosen, Donoghue and Engel threatened to resign in protest.

According to a copy of his written statement that he will deliver at Thursday’s hearing, Rosen will say the Justice Department has not received any evidence of widespread voter fraud.

“Some have argued to the former president and the public that the election was corrupt and stolen. That opinion was wrong then and it is wrong now, and I hope our presence here today will help to reaffirm that fact,” Rosen said.

Thursday’s hearing is the committee’s fifth this month to release the findings of its investigation, building on previous sessions that have focused on other aspects of Trump’s lobbying campaign. It’s also likely the last hearing of the month, with final hearings pushed back to July.

The schedule is still fluid and subject to change, but a series of hearings in July is the committee’s current goal, select committee chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democratic congressman from Mississippi, told reporters on Wednesday.

Clark will be a major target

The committee’s last two hearings on the pressure campaign against then-Vice President Mike Pence and state election officials have often turned to the efforts of Trump attorney John Eastman, who has played a key role in offering theories on how Trump might replace or dismiss won presidential voters. by Joe Biden.

On Thursday, Clark’s behind-the-scenes efforts to help Trump’s campaign overturn the election will likely be front and center.

Committee aides said the hearing would focus on Clark’s role at the Justice Department in pushing Trump’s bogus fraud allegations. Clark planned to “reverse the findings of the department’s investigation into voter fraud,” according to committee aides, and wanted to send letters to states suggesting fraud had occurred.

His push was quickly rebuffed by Rosen and Donoghue, leading to the Oval Office showdown where Trump considered putting Clark in charge of the department.

While serving as acting civil affairs chief at the Justice Department at the end of the Trump presidency, Clark launched plans to give Georgia’s legislature and other states support to undermine popular vote results. . He gave credence to unfounded conspiracy theories about voter fraud, according to Justice Department documents, and approached Trump to become attorney general, according to a Senate investigation this month.

The extent of Clark’s discussions with Trump in the days leading up to Jan. 6 is not yet publicly known.

Clark appeared before the committee for a deposition in February and pleaded the Fifth, according to aides.

The chaos of the Ministry of Justice has already been examined

Last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee released a lengthy report detailing how Trump tried to use the Justice Department to advance his efforts to nullify the 2020 election. The Senate investigation included interviews with the DOJ witnesses who will testify publicly on Thursday.

Aides to the Jan. 6 committee said the panel’s investigation answered a different set of questions than the Senate inquiry, noting that in each of the committee’s previous hearings, certain parts of the story were known. and other unknowns.

The committee, for example, received text messages showing how former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was connected to Clark through Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Scott Perry, CNN previously reported.
Perry was one of three people flagged in the Senate judicial report for further consideration, along with Pennsylvania State GOP Rep. Doug Mastriano — now the Republican gubernatorial nominee — and counsel for Trump, Cleta Mitchell.

“Because the events of January 6 are outside the immediate jurisdiction of the committee’s investigation, this report is made available to the House Select Committee on the January 6 attack, as well as to the public, to facilitate their investigation,” the Senate Judiciary Committee said. wrote.

In addition to providing new details about how Perry was the link between Trump and Clark, the text messages provided by Meadows and the court documents helped the House committee fill in important gaps about the key role that the member of the Little-known Republican Congress played at almost every turn. plotting to nullify or delay the certification of the 2020 elections.

Kinzinger will conduct Thursday’s hearing

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, will be the committee member handling the bulk of the issues at Thursday’s Justice Department hearing.

That could mean the committee will provide more information about what it says is evidence that Republican lawmakers are seeking pardons from the Justice Department, including Perry.

The committee raised the pardons during its opening hearing. Afterwards, Perry denied asking for forgiveness, calling it “an absolute shameless, soulless lie”.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation” earlier this month, Kinzinger said more information about the pardons would be released during the hearing he would lead.

Asked about Perry’s denial, Kinzinger said: “I don’t want to get my hands on it. We’ll publish what we have to publish. But we’re not going to make accusations or say things without proof or proof. in support. this.”

The former White House lawyer remains a question mark

Alongside Justice Department leaders, then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone played a significant role in pushing back against Trump’s efforts to install a loyalist at the top of the Justice Department — and he joined in their threats of resignation.

Cipollone, however, will not testify at Thursday’s hearing, and it is unclear whether he will at the committee hearings.

Thompson said he hoped Cipollone would testify in open court, “but you know, it could happen, it couldn’t.”

Asked if the committee had video testimony of Cipollone to play at a hearing in case he refused to testify in public, Thompson replied, “I’ll save that for later.”

During Tuesday’s hearing, the committee’s vice chair, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, called Cipollone, saying the panel was working hard to get her testimony.

“The American people have yet to hear of Mr. Trump’s former White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. Our commission is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here. Indeed, our evidence show that Mr. Cipollone and his office tried to do what was right. They tried to stop a number of President Trump’s plans for January 6,” Cheney said. “We believe the American people deserve hear Mr. Cipollone personally. He is expected to appear before this committee, and we are working to obtain his testimony.”

Cipollone, however, resisted providing public testimony, believing he had cooperated enough with the committee by sitting for a closed-door interview, CNN reported Tuesday.

The hearing schedule remains a work in progress

Thursday’s hearing was originally scheduled to take place last Wednesday, but the commission rescheduled it the day before.

The committee originally announced it would hold all of its hearings in June, but the schedule is now expected to be pushed back to July.

There are at least two more hearings after Thursday that the committee had previously scheduled — one focused on the extremists who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, and the other on what Trump was and wasn’t doing in response to the ‘offensive.

But with new information reaching the committee, aides declined to say on Wednesday whether these would be the only remaining hearings or when they would take place, adding that the timing of the hearings was determined by the investigation.

Indeed, committee members said they needed more time to peruse new documentary footage the panel received from documentarian Alex Holder, who has never seen previously unseen footage of Trump and his family. Thompson said he reviewed some of the images and called them “significant”.

“There’s been a deluge of new evidence since we started,” committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, said Wednesday. “And we just need to catch our breath, review the new evidence, and then incorporate it into the hearings.”

CNN’s Evan Perez and Brian Rokus contributed to this report.


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