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Senator Grassley released a clearly written report on another of the Democrats’ fraudulent assaults on Orange Man Bad. Facts contradict the Democrats and Bush-Cheney Republicans. What follows is an excerpt of the introduction and bullet point executive summary. Notice that each and every bullet point is sourced in the report. I added emphasis in the introduction.
Compare the reported resistance and even criminal behavior of career civil “servants” under President Trump to their eager execution of the wildest, most unconstitutional wishes of Obama and Xiden.
MINORITY STAFF REPORT
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
RANKING MEMBER CHARLES GRASSLEY
OCTOBER 7, 2021
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: A FACTUAL SUMMARY OF TESTIMONY FROM SENIOR JUSTICE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS RELATING TO EVENTS FROM DECEMBER 14, 2020 TO JANUARY 3, 2021
[ . . . ]
II. INTRODUCTION Three days after President Biden’s inauguration, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats, under the leadership of incoming Chairman Richard J. Durbin, launched an investigation into President Trump’s management of the Department of Justice (DOJ) following the 2020 election.29 Through their investigation, Committee Democrats focused on the weeks from December 14, 2020, to January 3, 2021, and sought to show that during his final days in office, President Trump nearly prompted a constitutional crisis with an alleged plot “to use” and “weaponize DOJ” in order to “subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.”30
In attempting to establish the basis for their investigation, Democrats drew heavily on reporting in a January 22, 2021, New York Times article titled, “Trump and Justice Dept. Lawyer Said to Have Plotted to Oust Acting Attorney General”, a title which the New York Times altered after publication to “Mutiny Halted Trump Scheme in Justice Dept.”43 This article described a chain of events that it characterized as a “long-running effort” by President Trump to “batter the Justice Department into advancing his personal agenda.”44 The article reported that the January 3, 2021, Oval Office meeting with President Trump and his senior advisors, including Rosen, was compared by two officials to an episode of “The Apprentice.”45 In testimony, Rosen said that characterization was not accurate.46
Nevertheless, Committee Democrats treated the article as their primary guide, citing to it exclusively in their initial January 23, 2021, letter to Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson outlining the basis for their investigation, and as one of only two sources mentioned in a subsequent May 20, 2021, letter to the National Archives and Records Administration requesting additional documents.47 In request letters and during interviews, Democrats sought documents and asked questions related to various claims mentioned in the article, which bore out facts that showed their narrative to be inaccurate.
The Biden Administration assisted Committee Democrats in their efforts by turning over Trump Administration records, including notes of conversations between President Trump and top DOJ officials, while refusing to produce any responsive records related to Ranking Member Grassley’s independent oversight requests. Moreover, during witness interviews, the DOJ counsel objected to questioning by Ranking Member Grassley’s staff on numerous occasions and prevented witnesses from answering questions pertaining to the types and number of election related allegations the DOJ investigated, questions which are critical to better understand what the DOJ did or did not do to investigate election fraud claims.48 President Biden also carved out a waiver of executive privilege that would ostensibly allow former senior-level DOJ officials to testify before the Committee about private conversations and interactions they had with President Trump; however, based on DOJ’s objections during the interviews, it appears the executive privilege waiver only flowed one way. 49
Notably, the Committee has not received all the records it requested and has only performed three transcribed interviews, yet the Democrats have decided to publicly release a report, records, and transcripts. When Senator Grassley was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, his standard protocol was to acquire all the evidence and to perform more than just three transcribed interviews in an investigation of this nature before reaching conclusions and making witness transcripts public.
The documentary evidence to-date, once considered in proper context and stripped of political insinuations, shows that the facts differed sharply from the narrative that the Democrats attempted to create. The documentary evidence and witness testimony currently available shows that throughout President Trump’s interactions with DOJ officials concerning election matters, he did not abuse his constitutional authority with respect to his conduct toward DOJ. 50 The evidence shows that during his final days as President, he expressed concern with ensuring that DOJ was doing its job of fully investigating allegations of election fraud so that the American people would have confidence in the results of the 2020 election and with particular concern about the people’s faith in the Georgia special election. 51
It is well-known that President Trump did not trust some elements at the DOJ and FBI, which evidently contributed to his concerns that DOJ was not doing enough to investigate allegations of election fraud.52 Despite his distrust, the President listened to the advice of senior advisors at DOJ and the White House and accepted their recommendations in matters concerning DOJ’s handling of election fraud allegations.53 For example, Committee Democrats made much of a draft complaint that would have seen the DOJ sue the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the states of Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada, and sought to have Electoral College votes from those states invalidated on the basis of widespread allegations of fraud and voting irregularities.54 ”57 During questioning by Committee staff, former Acting Attorney General Rosen testified that the pressure to file this brief came not from President Trump, but from an outside attorney named Kurt Olsen, who tried to persuade Rosen to file the complaint.55 Rosen testified that when he discussed the matter with President Trump during a phone call on December 30, 2020, Rosen advised the President that the brief was a bad idea and that DOJ could not file it.56 In response, President Trump accepted the DOJ’s position and “didn’t resist it or deliver an ultimatum or try to overrule [DOJ].
Through their investigation, Committee Democrats attempted to show that President Trump pressured leaders at DOJ to do his “bidding” in a self-serving attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.67 The records reviewed by the Committee do not support this allegation. According to Rosen and Donoghue, throughout December 2020 and January 2021, President Trump maintained close contact with leaders at DOJ in order to ensure that they were aware of allegations of election fraud that had raised doubts among the American public about the legitimacy of the 2020 election results and that DOJ actually did their job by properly investigating them, not to issue directives for DOJ to take specific action. 68 According to Rosen, on more than one occasion, President Trump raised concerns about the American people having confidence in the Georgia Senate races.69 To that effect, Rosen quoted the President as saying, “[m]any people around the United States think there’s been fraud. This undermines confidence in the elections.”70 Furthermore, notes of a December 27, 2020, call between the President, Rosen, and Donoghue show that President Trump’s focus was on “legitimate complaints” and “reports of crimes.”71
Witnesses testified that it was not unreasonable for President Trump to question what the DOJ was doing to investigate allegations of election fraud. 72 Specifically, Rosen agreed that on a constitutional level, it is the job of any President of the United States to work on behalf of the American people and taxpayers to ensure that Departments and agencies under the President’s control are doing what they need to do for the taxpayers.73 During his Committee interview, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, BJay Pak, went even further and stated that given the voter fraud and election crime allegations President Trump had received and that were being publicly reported on, he did not think it was unreasonable for the President to have concerns regarding potentially legitimate complaints and reports of crimes. 74 Pak also confirmed that he did not think it was unreasonable for President Trump to question what the DOJ and its components were doing to investigate legitimate complaints and reports of crimes.75 Donoghue likewise testified that it was not unreasonable for the President to question what DOJ was doing to investigate election fraud allegations.76 Indeed, President Trump’s concerns about how the DOJ pursued election allegations appear to be well-founded due to the DOJ Public Integrity Unit’s history of passivity with respect to investigating election fraud allegations prior to election certification, as well as some witnesses’ inability to answer whether certain claims were in fact investigated, and testimony that Pak’s employees were “dragging their feet,” and that the Elections Crimes Branch within the Public Integrity Section was also “dragging its feet and maybe more to keep these investigations from going forward.”77
Based on past experiences, President Trump’s skepticism of the DOJ’s and FBI’s handling of election fraud allegations does not appear unreasonable. During the 2016 election, the FBI used an unsubstantiated research dossier, funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and which was known by the FBI to be filled with Russian disinformation, to file a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application and to obtain FISA warrants against a Trump campaign volunteer.78 DOJ neglected to inform the FISA court about the political origins of the dossier that it used to justify the warrant, and the application incorporated information that was deliberately altered by a DOJ attorney who has since pleaded guilty to lying about intentionally falsifying a government document. 79 According to evidence uncovered by the DOJ Office of Inspector General, FBI agent Peter Strzok, who helped lead that investigation, privately told an FBI attorney, Lisa Page, that then-candidate Trump would never become president because “[w]e’ll stop it.”80 That same year, FBI agents used an FBI security briefing to surreptitiously gather information on then-candidate Trump and transition officials.81 Later, after President Trump was in office, former FBI Director James Comey deliberately leaked information to the press to force the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and its alleged ties to the Russian government.82 That investigation dragged on for nearly half of President Trump’s term in office and ultimately found no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. During this investigation, witnesses attested to the possibility that President Trump’s distrust of the FBI factored into his concerns that they weren’t doing enough to investigate election fraud allegations.83
Against this historical backdrop, it is reasonable that President Trump maintained substantial skepticism concerning the DOJ’s and FBI’s neutrality and their ability to adequately investigate election fraud allegations in a thorough and unbiased manner.
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
• President Trump listened to his advisors, including high-level DOJ officials and White House Counsel and followed their recommendations.1
• President Trump twice rejected sending Jeffrey Clark’s, the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division, draft letter recommending to some states with reported voter irregularities that they hold a legislative session to choose different electors.2
• Clark told Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen regarding his draft letter, [t]hese are my ideas,” not the President’s.3
• President Trump accepted Rosen’s recommendations that DOJ not file a draft complaint against some states based on reported voter irregularities and “didn’t resist it or deliver an ultimatum or try to overrule [DOJ].”4
• Donoghue testified that President Trump had “no impact” on DOJ investigative actions relating to the election.5
• President Trump twice rejected firing Rosen.6
• President Trump did not fire anyone at the DOJ or FBI relating to his frustration that more wasn’t done to investigate election-related allegations.7
• President Trump considered Richard Donoghue as Acting Attorney General, Principal Deputy Attorney General and Rosen’s deputy, when Bill Barr resigned.8
• President Trump told Rosen that he did not expect the DOJ to overturn the election.9
• Witnesses testified that they were not pressured by President Trump or the White House to take action with respect to investigating certain election fraud claims.10
• Notes of a phone call between Rosen, Donoghue and President Trump show that the President expressed concerns centered on “legitimate complaints and reports of crimes” relating to election allegations.11
• 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, rather than issuing orders to take certain action.12
• President Trump expressed concerns related to the U.S. electoral system writ large rather than concerns about his campaign or himself personally.13
• President Trump referred to the American people, rather than his campaign or himself, in his context.14
• Donoghue and BJay Pak testified that it was not unreasonable for President Trump to question what the DOJ and FBI were doing to investigate election allegations.15
• BJay Pak testified that it was not unreasonable for President Trump to be concerned about legitimate complaints and reports of crimes. 16
• BJay Pak testified that President Trump had the duty to set election investigation policy for the DOJ.17
• Witnesses testified that Mark Meadows did not pressure them to take action relating to investigating election allegations and was deferential to DOJ’s judgment.18
• The Public Integrity Unit and Election Crimes Branch were passive with respect to investigating election related allegations.19
• Donoghue testified that the Election Crimes Branch was “dragging their feet and maybe more to keep these investigations from going forward.”20
• Donoghue testified that Pak’s employees were “dragging their feet” in investigating election fraud allegations.21
• Richard Pilger’s resignation after then-Attorney General Barr issued his November 9, 2020, memo directing the Public Integrity Unit to be more aggressive frustrated the DOJ’s ability to do its job.22
• President Trump wanted to fire – but did not fire – BJay Pak primarily because he believed Pak was a “never-Trumper.”23
• Some witnesses were unaware if DOJ investigated election allegations relating to Georgia.24
• BJay Pak testified that Bobby Christine was ethical and capable of doing the job of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.25
• BJay Pak testified that Bobby Christine brought additional employees to work election cases.26
• Rosen, Donoghue and Pak testified that it’s the president’s job to ensure all Departments and agencies operate for the American people.27
• Witnesses testified that President Trump’s lack of trust with the DOJ and FBI could have impacted his questioning of whether the DOJ was doing enough to investigate election allegations.28