Former President Donald Trump launched a “personal pressure campaign” against then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen in the final weeks of his presidency to pressure the Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch an investigation into unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election, according to The Washington Post.
The Post reported that Trump called the then-head of the DOJ every day to browbeat the DOJ into investigating — a move that goes against the standards of independence from the White House that have long been established at the department. The Post cited two sources familiar with the conversations between Trump and Rosen, who also said that Richard Donoghue, an aide to Rosen, had taken notes on some of the discussions.
Rosen refused to commit to an investigation into Trump’s false claims, and frequently tried to change the subject during these conversations, the sources told The Post.
The revelation of these conversations, as well as the possibility that notes on them exist, may prompt Democrats to subpoena Rosen and Donoghue to testify before several congressional committees, including the newly-formed commission investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol building, which came about after Trump riled up a mob of his loyalists to disrupt the certification of the election.
A recent letter to several aides of the former president from the Justice Department stated that those who worked with Trump are “authorized to provide information [they] learned” about the January 6 breach of the Capitol.
Rosen insisted in congressional testimony given in May that he did not follow through on demands from Trump supporters to investigate the false claims of election fraud. He did not disclose during that testimony, however, that Trump had pressured him to do so.
“During my tenure, no special prosecutors were appointed, whether for election fraud or otherwise, no public statements were made questioning the election, no letters were sent to state officials seeking to overturn the election results, no DOJ court actions or filings were submitted seeking to overturn election results,” Rosen said in that testimony.