Former acting deputy AG testifies Trump pressured DOJ to declare 2020 election corrupt

Former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue testified before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection that then-President Donald Trump pressured the Department of Justice to declare the 2020 presidential election corrupt, despite no evidence of fraud.

Video transcript

RICHARD DONOGHUE: The one and only client of the United States Justice Department is the United States government. And the United States government does not have standing, as we were repeatedly told by our internal teams. OLC, led by Steve Engel, as well as the Office of the Solicitor General researched it and gave us thorough, clear opinions that we simply did not have standing. And we tried to explain that to the president on numerous occasions.

ADAM KINZINGER: Let's take a look at another one of your notes. You also noted that Mr. Rosen said to Mr. Trump, quote, "DOJ can't and won't snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election." How did the president respond to that, sir?

RICHARD DONOGHUE: He responded very quickly and said, essentially, that's not what I'm asking you to do. What I'm just asking you to do is just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen.

ADAM KINZINGER: So let's now put up the notes where you quote the president as you're speaking to that. He said the president-- the president said, "Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen." So Mr. Donoghue, that's a direct quote from President Trump, correct?

RICHARD DONOGHUE: That's an exact quote from the president. Yes.

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