tv January 6 Hearings Fifth Hearing on Investigation of Capitol Attack - Part 2 CSPAN June 24, 2022 5:39am-7:01am EDT
abundance of caution. >> again, if you looked again at the draft letter in the first paragraph second sentence says the department will update you as we are able on the investigatory progress but at this time we have identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states, including the state of georgia. isn't that in fact contrary to what attorney general barr had said on december 1st, 2020? >> yes. >> mister chairman, i yield back. >> mister chairman, i reserve. >> pursuant to the order, the committee of today, the chair declares at the committee in recess for a period of approximately ten minutes.
the committee will be in order. the chair recognizes illinois. >> thank you mister chairman, around the time that mr. clark was pushing for the department to send the georgia letter, the president and his supporters were pressuring the justice department to take other actions to change the outcome of the 2020 election. mr. engel, you are the head of the office of legal counsel, can you explain your role? what is that? >> sure. one of the attorney general's most important responsibilities is to provide legal advice to the president of the executive
branch, as a practical matter given the responsibilities of the attorney general, the assistant attorney general for the office of legal counsel exercises that job on a day-to-day basis. in addition, the head of the -- essentially to the attorney general, and often the chief legal adviser to the ag, as well as to the white house executive branch. >> given that role, can you describe your relationship with the president? >> in connection with my role at olc, my over my tenure, there were many instances in which folks at the white house would seek to break me into provide legal advice to the president. sometimes, discussing legal options that could be pursued amongst various policy objectives, sometimes to advise the president that the course of action that they we are discussing was not legally available. >> two things that the
president asked you and the department to do, the first is reflected in this email that we are going to put on the screen. the president sent a draft lawsuit to be filed with the supreme court. he wanted you, specifically to review it. you opposed filing it. we see on the screen here that the talking points the you actually drafted on that, you stated that there is no legal basis to bring this lawsuit, anyone who thinks otherwise simply does not know the law, much less the supreme court. why was this in the departments position? >> the memo speaks to this, but essentially this was a draft lawsuit that apparently was prepared, it would be styled as the united states, in original jurisdiction matter in the supreme court. it was a merit-less lawsuit,
not something that the department would bring, somebody prepared it to him to the president, and he forwarded it on to the review. this explains why the department of justice, as donahue said earlier, it would've been untimely, the states had chosen their electors. they had been certified, they cast their votes, it had been sent to washington d.c., and either georgia or the other states, or whenever this was, we're in a position to change those votes. the only thing that hadn't happened was the formal counting of the votes, and so obviously, the person who drafted this lawsuit did not understand, in my view, the law, or how the supreme court works, or the department of justice. it was not something we would do, the acting attorney general asked me to prepare a memo for talking points that we can explain our reasoning when he spoke with the president about this. >> would you say it's an unusual request? >> the quest that the
department filed a lawsuit, was certainly an unusual request. >> there was another issue the u.s. to looked into, in december, did the white house ask attorney barr -- >> yes, the president was probably vocal at the time that he believed that the special counsel was something that should be considered to look into election fraud, and there was a specific request where the attorney general saw my legal advice in the middle of december. >> what was your conclusion? >> this request was whether the attorney general could appoint as a special counsel a state attorney general, to conduct an investigation. as a leader in that matter, under federal law, the attorney general has wide discretion to execute prosecutorial faction --
and not uncommon, only a state attorney general exercises prosecutorial a 40 -- when we looked at the issue, what we saw was that the state law, the state was louisiana, that the state law precluded the louisiana attorney general the official position, on behalf of the united states government. that answers your question, it was not legally available. >> during your time at the department, was there any basis to appoint a special counsel to investigate president trump's election fraud claims? >> not attorney general rosen or barr, you would appoint a special counsel when there is a basis for investigation, and the department has a conflict of interest, it's important to get somebody independent outside of the investigation, neither barr or rosen ever believed that was appropriate
or necessary in this case. >> attorney barr had already told the president that there is no need, he stated that publicly, and we will see that from a video into somber 21st. >> to the extent that the investigation, i think it is being handled responsibly and professionally, currently within the department, and to this point, i have not seen a reason to go to special counsel, i have no plan to do so before i leave. >> remember, the december 21st was the same day that president trump met with republican members at the white house, to strategize about how to overturn the election while his attorney general is out telling the public, again, that there were no widespread evidence of election fraud, and yet two days later we have president trump tweeting publicly to, pressure the department to have a special counsel. he said quote, after seeing the massive voter fraud in the 2020
election, i disagree with anyone -- is not needed immediately. this was the most corrupt election in the history of our country, and it must be closely examined. the select committee's investigation revealed that president trump witnessed far as to promise the job of special counsel to now discredited former trump campaign lawyer sydney powell, at a late night meeting on december 18th. >> on friday, he had asked me to have a special counsel to address the election issues. and to collect evidence, and he was extremely frustrated with the lack of law enforcement. by any of the government agencies that are supposed to act to protect the rule of law
in our republic. >> let's think, what would a special counsel to? only days to go, until election certification, it was not to investigate anything. an investigation, led by a special counsel, he just create an illusion of legitimacy, and to provide fake cover to those who would want to object, including those who stormed the capitol on january 6th. all of his plans for the justice department were being rebuffed by mr. rosen, mr. donoghue, mr. engel, and others. the president became desperate, entering the new year, with january 6th fast approaching. he rushed back from mar-a-lago on january 1st, and called a emergency meeting with the departments leadership. here is mr. donoghue describing the last minute -- >> the president was a little more agitated than he had been
in the meeting on the 15th. he discussed a variety of election matters. he did say, this sounds like the kind of thing that would want the appointment of special counsel. there was a point at which the president said something about one of you guys seized machines. >> mr. rosen, the president asked you to seize voting machines from state governments. what was your response to that request? >> that we had seen nothing improper with regard to the voting machines and i told him that the real experts of that had been a dhs and they had briefed us that they had looked at it and that there was nothing wrong with the voting machines. and so, that was not something that was appropriate to do. >> so there would be no factual
basis to seize machines? >> i don't think there was a legal authority either. >> mr. donoghue, can you explain what the president did after he was told that the justice department would not seize voting machines? >> the president was very agitated by the acting attorney general's response and to the extent that machines and the technology was being discussed, the acting attorney general said that the dhs, department of homeland security, has expertise and machines and certifying them and making sure that the states are operating them properly. and since dhs had been mentioned, the president yelled out to his secretary, get ken cuccinelli on the phone. and she did in very short order. mr. cuccinelli was on the phone. he was number two at dhs at the time. i was on the speakerphone, and the president essentially said, can, i'm sitting here with the acting attorney general.
he just told me it's your job to see some scenes and you're not doing your job. and mr. cuccinelli responded. >> mr. rosen, did you ever tell the president that the department of homeland security could seize voting machines? >> no, certainly not. >> mr. donahue, during this meeting, it did the president tell you that he would remove you and mr. rosen because you weren't declaring and there was election fraud? >> towards the end of the meeting the president again was getting a very agitated and he said, people tell me i should just get rid of both of you. i should just remove you. and make a change in leadership put, jeff clock in, maybe something will finally get done. and i responded as i think i had earlier in the december 27th call, mister president, you should have the leadership that you want. but understand, the united states justice department functions on facts, evidence and law. and those are not going to change. so you can have whatever
leadership you want, but the departments position is not going to change. >> the presidents white house counsel pat cipollone was also pressed the president do. you remember what his position was? >> i was very supportive of paths baloney throughout these conversations, he was extremely supportive of the justice department. he was consistent. i think you have an impossible job at that time but he did it well and he also cited the judge sided with the justice department on these discussions. >> so let's pause for the second. new year's eve. president trump is talking about seizing voting machines and making the same demands that had already been shot down by former attorney general barr on at least three occasions and why mr. rosen and mr. donoghue on multiple other occasions. claim after claim knocked down. but the president didn't care. the next day chief of staff maurer meadows sent a flurry of emails to you, mr. robin, asking that the department look into a new set of allegations. and we're going to put those emails here on the screen.
here we see three requests made on january forest. one email is a request from mr. meadows to you, mr. rosenberg, to send jeffrey clark to fulton county. what did you do with this request? >> well, really, nothing. certainly didn't send mr. clark to fulton county. but that email was the first corroboration i had seen of mr. clark had told me that that point is that the president was considering making the change by monday, january 4th. so mr. meadows's email was something awful corroboration that there were discussions going on. i had not been informed about by mr. clark or anybody else. >> i'm interested in the second request. you have is to have the department of justice lawyers investigate allegations of fraud related to new mexico. mr. rosen, did you have concern about these emails? >> yes.
really, to concerns about that one. one was that it was coming from a campaign or political party and it was really not our role to function as, you know, an arm of any campaign for any party or any campaign that wasn't our role. that's part of what i have been unwilling to meet with mr. giuliani or of any of the campaign people before. and the other part was it was another one of these moments where lots of work had already been done and i thought it was a rehash of things that have been debunked previously. so the final email here in >> the final email here included and completely basis conspiracy theory that dylan italian-based defense contractor uploaded data for to a satellite that switch votes from trump to biden. the investigative committees -- weighted from the recesses of the internet to the highest echelons of our government.
on december 31st, mr. meadows received this internet conspiracy theory from representative perry. >> on the screen now is the text that representative perry said to mr. meadows, copying a youtube link with the message, quote, why can't we just working with the italian government? the next day, the presidents chief of staff said the youtube link to mr. rosen, who forwarded to mr. donoghue. mr. donoghue, did you watch this video? >> i did, congressman. >> how long was the video? >> approximately 20 minutes. >> let's just take a look at a expert of that video, if we may. >> it's being said out of rome, out of italy, is that this was done in the u.s. embassy. that there was a certain state department guy whose name i don't know he had, i guess this is probably going to come out in italy at some point, and he was the mastermind, not the mastermind, but the, at any
rate, the guy wanted the operation of changing the vote. and he was doing this in conjunction with some support from mi6, this ei, and this leonardo group. >> mr., what was your reaction when you watched that entire 20 minute video? >> i emailed the acting attorney general and i said, pure insanity, which was my impression of the video, which was patently absurd. >> mr. rosen, you are asked by mr. meadows to meet with mr. johnson who is the person in that video. what was your reaction to that request? >> so ordinarily, i get an email like this and there was no phone call, it would just come over the trial. so this one, he called me, mr. meadows, and asked me to meet with mr. johnson. and i told him this whole thing
about italy had been debunked and that should be the end of that. and i certainly wasn't going to meet with this person. and he initially seemed to accept that and he said why won't you meet with them i? said, because if he has real evidence? , which this video doesn't show, he can walk into an fbi field office anywhere in the united states -- this 55 of them and. andy said, okay. then he called me back a few minutes later and complained and said i, didn't tell you, but this fellow johnson is working with rudy giuliani and mr. giuliani is really offended that you would think they have to go to an fbi field office. that's insulting. so can you just have the fbi or, you meet with these guys? and by then i was somewhat agitated and told him that there was no way on earth that i was going to do that, i
wasn't going to beat with johnson, i certainly wasn't going to beat with mr. giuliani, i made that clear repeatedly and said that santa that, don't worry that with me again. and so, because mr. donahue and i had been in exchange-ing our views about this, it was a 7:13 on a friday right of new year's day, and i'd run out of patients, that they said and emails that you're talking about, where i made pretty clear that i had no interest in doing anything for further with this. >> just open this up, mr. donoghue, did you receive a follow-up call from a department of defense official about this conspiracy? >> i did i. believe it was that same game. >> can you give it details on that at all? >> i received a telephone call from kathy patel who i knew was a dod official at the time, who believed, i believed act for acting secretary of defense, mueller and he didn't know much about it he. basically said do, you know
anything about this italy thing on what this is all about? and i informed him that the chief of staff had raised the issue of this with us on december 29th, that we had look to it a little bit. we had run the name that was provided to us by the chief of staff. i learned that that individual was in custody in italy. he had been arrested for a cyber offense of some sort in italy, the allegation was that he had been exfoliating data from his company. he was either an employer contractor of that company. he was in custody. that the whole thing was very, very murky at best. and the video was observed. but that we at the department were not going to have anything to do with it and d.o.d. should -- but they were going to do but i made it clear that i didn't think it was anything worth pursuing. >> she called the video absurd, and despite the absurdity of that conspiracy theory, we learned that mr. meadows discussed frequently in the met --
he did not let the matter go. the request went from the department of justice to the secretary of defense christopher miller, as you, here he reached out to a high ranking official based in italy. to follow up on this claim. >> when you color the defense, find out what is going on, i'm hearing these crazy reports, a guy on the ground who is worse than anything. >> the select committee confirmed that a call was placed by secretary miller, to the attaché in italy to investigate the claim that italian satellites were switching votes. from trump to biden. this is one of the best examples of the leaks to which the president trump would go to stay in power. scouring the internet to support his conspiracy theories shown here, as he turns mr. donahue in the december 27th call, quote, you guys may not
be following the internet the way that i do. president trump's efforts to this point had failed, stonewalled by mr. donahue, they had only one option, they needed to make clark the acting attorney general. mr. rosen, during a january 2nd meeting with january clark -- did you talked him about his contact with the president, if so, can you describe that? >> at this point, mr. clark had told us that the president had asked him to be willing to replace me, supposedly on a timetable by monday, i had told mr. cark, i had said that he was making a colossal error in judgment. i hoped to spur persuade him, to be more rational and understood what we had understood, that there was no factual basis for the fraud
assertions that were being made. at this meeting, mr. donahue and i had met with mr. clark, and i guess my hopes were disappointed in that mr. clark continued to express the view that he thought there was fraud, even though he had not been a participant in the departments review of that. and that there was dissatisfaction about what we were doing. he had acknowledged that he had further, i'm not sure if it was meetings or phone calls, but further discussion with the president, despite having, a week earlier, saying that he would not do that, and if he did, and got an invitation to do that. he would lip richard donoghue or amino. it was a contentions meeting, where we were chastising him, that he was insubordinate, he was out of line, he had not honored his own representations of what he would do.
he raised, again, that he thought that letter should go out and we were not receptive to that. >> did he tell you in that, that the president had offered him the job of acting attorney general? >> that was a day later, on the second, he said that the president had asked him to let him know if he would be willing to take it. subsequently, he told me that, on sunday the third, he told me that the timeline had moved up, and it the president had often read him the job, and he was accepting it. >> what was your reaction to that? >> on the one hand, i was not going to accept being fired by my subordinate, i wanted to talk to the president directly. with regard to you the reason to that, i wanted to convince the president not to go down the wrong path that mr. clark
seemed to be advocating. it was not about me, there were only 17 days left in the administration at that point, i would've been perfectly content to either the general and -- if anybody wanted to do that. i did not want the department of justice to be put in a posture where it would be doing things that were not consistent with the truth, were not consistent with its own appropriate role, or not consistent with the constitution. i did four things when mr. clark left my office on that sunday, the third, number one, i called mark meadows and said that i needed to see the president right away. he was agreeable, set up a meeting, for 6:15 on sunday, about two hours away. two, i called pat cipollone, the white house counsel, told him what was going on, he said he would go into the white
house to make sure that he was at the meeting, and support the justice department's position as he had been doing consistently. three, i called steve engel, who is at the department, on sunday, there were some reasons that i need to be there. mr. engel, i called him at home, asked him to come to the meeting, which he did. he proved to be quite helpful, and then number four, i asked richard donoghue and -- to get the departments senior leadership on the call, and to let them know it was going on. and then, eric herschmann called me to tell me that he was going to go to the meeting, and that he would be supporting the department of justice's position as well. i knew that the meeting was on course, and that i would have a number of people supportive of the department of justice's approach. and not supportive of mr.
clark's approach. >> did mr. clark ask you to continue to stay at the apartment? >> at that sunday meeting, when he told me that he would be replacing me, you he said that he would ask to see me alone, usually he messed me with donoghue, because he thought he would be appropriate in light of what was happening to at least offer me that i could stay on at his deputy. i thought that was preposterous, told him that that was nonsensical, and that there was no universe where i was going to do that. to stay on, and support somebody else doing things that were not consistent with what i thought should be done. i did not accept that offer, if i can put it that way. >> during that meeting, did he ask you to sign the georgia letter? >> that was on the saturday meeting, january 2nd that mr.
donahue and i had with him. again, he raised with both of us, that he wanted us both to sign that letter. >> in that meeting, did mr. clark say that he would turn down the presidents offer if he reversed your position, and signed the letter? >> yes. >> did mr. clark say still refused to sign? >> mr. donoghue and i were both consistent with not signing the letter, and it did not matter what mr. clark proposition was, in terms of his own activities, we were not going to sign that letter as long as we were in charge of the justice department. >> thank you for that. mr. donoghue, were you expecting to attend a white house meeting on january 1st? >> no, as the acting ag indicated, that related to
preparations for january 6th. i had no expectations of leaving the department, it is a sunday afternoon, i was there in civilian clothes, as we both were. i expected to have that meeting, do some other work, but i had no expectation of going to the white house that day. >> prior to that oval office meeting, did you set up a conference call with senior leadership at the department? if, so tell us about that call. >> yes, obviously was a bit of a scramble that afternoon to prepare for the oval office meeting, we had discussed on several occasions, the acting attorney general and i, whether we should expand the circle of people who knew what was going on. it is important that steven engel new, and that's why i reached out to him on december 28th, if mr. rosen was removed from the seat, and the president did not attack -- just by function of the departments chain of succession, mr. engel would be in the seat,
we wanted him to know what was going on if that should occur. if he knew, we also brought the four of us in, no one else aside from jeff clark knew it was going on until late that sunday afternoon. we chose to keep a close hold, because we did not want to create concern or panic in the justice department leadership. at this point, the i asked the acting ag would else i could do to help prepare for this meeting at the oval office, he said you and pat should get the ag on the phone, it is time to let them know what is going on. let's find out what they may do, if there is a change in leadership. that will help inform the conversation at the oval office. pat hovakimian, consequently set up that meeting, we got most of the ags on the phone, and very quickly explain to them with the situation was, i told them that i do not need an answer from you right now, i
don't need an answer in this phone call. but if you have an answer, i needed in the next few minutes. call me, email me, text me, whatever it is, if you know what you would do, if jeff clarke is put in charge of the department. immediately, eric drive-in, who is the ag of the civil rights division said that i don't need to think about it, there is no way that i am staying. and the other ags became to chime in, in turn, essentially said that they would leave. they would resign in mass, if the president made that change in the department leadership. >> incredible. i'd like to look at the assistant attorney generals on the screen. if we can pull that up. the pictures, yet every assistant attorney general as you said you spoke to agree to resign? >> -- was not on the call on you because we had some difficulty reaching him. but yes, the other people on the screen were on the call and
all, without hesitation, said that they would resign. >> so as part of the select committee's investigation we found that while mr. rosen, mr. donoghue and mr. engel were preparing for that meeting at the white house, jeff clark and the president where in constant communication beginning at 7 am. white house call logs obtained by the committee show that by four 90 pm on january 3rd, the white house had already begun referring to mr. clark as the acting attorney general. as far as the white house was concerned, mr. clark was already at the top of the justice department. two hours later, doj leadership arrived at the white house. the select committee interviewed every person who was inside the room, what's inside the room during this sunday evening oval office meeting. mr. cipollone told the committee that he was, quote, unmistakably angry during the meeting and that he along with eric harshman and mr. donahue,
quote, forcefully challenged mr. clock to produce evidence of election fraud theories. mr. rosen, can you describe how that meeting started? >> yes. so after some preliminaries -- so mr. meadows had assured us all in and then he left so mr. cipollone did some introductions and after some preliminaries the president turned to me and he said, well, one thing we know is you, rosen, you aren't going to do anything. you don't even agree with the claims of election fraud. and this other guy at, least, by do something. and then i said, mister president, your right that i'm not going to allow the justice department to do anything to try to overturn the election. that's true. but the reason for that is because that's what's consistent with the facts and the law. that's what's required under
the constitution. so that's the right answer and a good thing for the country, and therefore i submit is the right thing for you, mister president. that kicked off another two hours of discussion in which everyone in the room was in one way or another making different points. but supportive of my approach for the justice department and critical of mr. clark. >> so at some point, this issue donoghue comes in the room. can you explain a little -- to him coming in the room? >> oh i, forgot about that. so, initially, in part i think because he was under dressed and we had not arranged, we had not yet told the president that he was going to come in, the white house had a list of who would be there. -- mr. engel and the white house counsel, and the deputy white house counsel, mr. herschmann. we went in and then we told the president, maybe ten minutes into the meeting or something, i forget how foreign, mr.
donoghue was outside and. he said, we'll bring him in. and then mr. donoghue kim in and join to the meeting. >> so mr., you enter that room. can you set the scene for us and describe the tone you walked into? >> yes. but if i could just back up one moment, congressman, because you put the pictures up on the screen of the ag's, i want to make clear that one of the ages not on the screen was john tumors. john was the national security division ag. john was on the call. i preface the call by saying, john, we need you to stay in place. national securities too important. we need to minimize their is destruction. with your design is obviously up to you. obviously we'll ex respect your decision either way and i ask you to please stay in place. and he did. so i don't want to leave the impression that he was not going to resign. >> great. thank you. thank you for that. >> so without regard to entering the oval office, i was sitting in the hallway. and administration's position assistant passed by, ask me i'm
or are you supposed to be in this meeting for the president? i replied no. i'm here in case i have answers to questions of the other people start out the answer to. and she came back probably about 30 seconds later and said the president wants you to beating. i proceeded into the oval office. i took probably two, three steps in and i stopped, because i was, as the ag set, not exactly properly attired i was wearing jeans and muddy boots and an army t-shirt. and i never would arrive in the oval office this way and i said mister president i apologize i'm, sorry i didn't know i was going to be handy. said no, no, no, just coming. so i went in. i attempted to take a seat on one of the couches behind the chairs more right in front of the president's desk and he said, oh, no, no, no. you are going to be up here. and everyone kind of left. and they moved the chairs a little bit and some were from the white house counsel's office picked up a spare chair and put it directly in front of the president, and i took that seat. >> was there a discussion about
mr. clark? kind of enlightened some of what that discussion was? >> yes. so the conversation at this point had moved beyond the specific allegation of where they're there with state farm arena or antrim county or pennsylvania or whatever. we had discussed those repeatedly. and the congress, that was back drop to the conversation. but the conversation at this point was really about whether the president should remove jefferson and replaced him with jeff court. and everyone in the room, i think, understood that that meant that letter would go out. so, that was the focus. it was about a two and a half hour meeting after i entered, and so there were discussions about the pros and cons of doing that. early on, the president said, what do i have to lose? and it was actually a good opening because i said, mister, president you have a great deal to lose. and i began to explain to him what he had to lose. and what the country had
literally, what the department had to lose. and this was not in anyone's best interest. that conversation went on for sometime. everyone, essentially, champion with their own thoughts, all of which were consistent about how damaging this would be to the country, to the department, to the administration, to him personally. and at some point the conversation turned to whether jeff clark was even qualified, competent to run the justice department, which in my mind he clearly was not. and it was a heated conversation. i thought it was useful to point out to the president that jeffrey clark simply didn't have the skills, the ability and the experience to run the department. and so i said, mister president, you're talking about putting a man in that seat who has never tried a criminal case, who has never contracted a criminal investigation. he is telling you that he is going to take charge of the department, 150,000 employees, including the entire fbi, and turned the police on a dime and
conduct nationwide criminal investigations that will produce results in a matter of days. it's impossible, it's absurd, it's not going to happen, and it's going to fail. he has never been in front of a trial jury or grand jury. he's never even been to chris wray's office. i said at one point, if you walk into chris wray's office, one, would you know how to get there? and to, if you got it, would he even know who you are? do you really think that the fbi is going to suddenly start following your orders? it's not going to happen. he's not competent. and that's the point at which mr. clark tried to defensive itself by saying, well, i've been involved in very significant civil and environmental there to geisha, i've argued many appeals in a public courts and things of that nature. and then i pointed out that, yes, he was an environmental lawyer and i didn't think that was an appropriate background to be running the united states
justice department. >> to do anybody in that support mr. clark? >> no one. >> mr. rosen, it was you that he was going to replace, what was your view about the presidents plan to appoint mr. clark? >> as i alluded to earlier, the issue is not about me, it would've been fine, as i said, to have richard donoghue replace me, i have 17 days vacation. the issue was that the use of the justice department, and it is so important that the justice department adheres to the facts and the law. that's what it's there to do. that is what's our constitutional role was, and so if the justice department gets out of the role that it is supposed to play, that is really bad for our country, and i don't know a simpler way to say that, when you damage our fundamental institutions, it's
not easy to repair them. i thought this was a really important issue to try and make sure that the justice department was able to stay on the right course. >> did you eventually tell the president that mass rags and nations wouldn't -- and what the consequences would be? >> this was in line with the president saying what do i have to lose? he said, suppose i do this, suppose i replace him, and replace him with him. what would you do? president, i would resign immediately, i'm not working for a minute with this guy. i just declared he was completely incompetent. the president immediately turned to mr. engel, and said steve, you wouldn't resign, would you? he said absolutely, you leave me no choice. we're not the only, once nobody
cares if we resign, it's fine, it doesn't matter. i'll tell you what happens, you're going to lose your entire department leadership. your entire department leadership will walk out within hours. i don't know it happens after that, i don't know at the united states attorneys are going to do, we have u.s. attorneys and districts across the country, and my guess would be that many of them would have resigned. that would then have led to resignations across the department in washington, and i said mister president,, within 24, 78, hours you're going to have hundreds of resignations of the entire justice department, because of your actions. what is that going to say about you? >> mr. engel, what was your reaction to that? >> when the president, to my recollection, when he turned to me and said steve, you would, leave would you, i said that president, i have been with you
through for acting attorney generals, but i could not be part of this. the other thing that i said was that, look, all anyone's going to think about when they see this, nobody is going to read this letter, all anyone's going to think is that you went through to attorney generals in two weeks, until you found the environmental guy, designed this thing. the story is not going to be that the department of justice has found massive corruption that would've changed the result of the election, it's going to be the disaster of jeffrey clark, and i think at that point, cipollone said this is a murder suicide pact. >> i would note, congressman, that it was in this part of the conversation, when steve pointed at the jeff clark would be left leading a graveyard, and that that comment clearly had an impact on the president, the leadership would be gone, jeff clarke could be leaving a
graveyard. >> mr. clark could come in and take out the department of justice, and do something different, was an absurd premise, and all he was doing, mister clerk, but putting himself forward, was blowing himself up, in the presidents work would've gone that course, it would've been a grievous air for the president as well. >> told the committee, the response had a noticeable impact on the president, this was a turning point in the conversation. mr. donoghue, toward the end of this meeting, did the president ask you what was happening to mr. clark? >> he did, when we got to the last 15 minutes of the meeting, the president's decision was apparent, he announced it, jeff clark tried to scrape his way back, and as the president reconsidered, the president doubled down and said no, i have made my decision, we're not going to do it. >> he then turned to me, and
said, so what happens to him now? meaning mr. clark, he said that he reported to me. i did not initially understand the question, and i said mister president, he said, are you going to fire him? i said that i don't have the authority to fire him, he is a senate confirmed assistant attorney general. he said, who has the authority to fire him, i said only you. he said, i'm not going to fire him. i said we should get back to work. >> did you get a call from the president later that night? >> i did, probably 90 minutes later. >> but was that about? >> at this point, we left the white house, reconvened at the department, i left the department, as back in my apartment, myself phone rang, it is the president, and he had information about a truck, supposedly full of shredded ballots in georgia. that was in the custody of an
ice agent, whose name he had. i said that i.c.e. was part of the department of homeland security, i had heard about this, if homeland security had our assistance, we had provided, but it was up to dhs to make a call if their agent was involved. he said fine, i understand, can you make sure that me and ken cuccinelli, knew about this. i would pass that on to him, i eventually contacted him later that evening, and i said this is what the president told me. if you guys have anything, bring it to our attention, let me know. he said thank, you that was it. >> mr. cipollone left the meeting, and convinced the president to not appoint mr. clark, but he did not think the president had accepted the truth about the election. sure enough, all of the same debunked theories appeared in a speech at the ellipse three days later. >> in the state of arizona,
over 36,000 ballots were illegally cast by non citizens. 11, 000, 600 more ballots and votes were counted. more than there were actual voters, do you see that? in wisconsin, corrupt democrat run cities deployed more than 500 illegal unmanned, unsecured drop boxes, which collected a minimum of 91,000 on lawful boats. >> mr. donahue, mr. rosen, mr. angle, and others, stop president trump's efforts. if the republican allies pushed throughout december, made its way to the voters anyway. they gave up the pressure campaign in a way to storm the capitol on january 6th. mr. rosen, were you at the department of justice on january 6th? >> yes, i was there all day. >> when the capital was under
attack, i understand you communicated with fellow cabinet members and leadership, can you tell us who you spoke to? >> yes, i was basically on the phone all day, some calls with our own doj folks, so with cabinet counterparts in defense of the interior, senior white house officials, and with a number of congressional leaders. i received calls from speaker pelosi, from leader mccarthy, from leader schumer, leader mcconnell's, chief of staff called, a number of other members of congress as well. the basic thrust of the calls with the members of congress was, there is a dire situation here, can you help? >> i reported to them, we wear, and a very urgent basis. sending help from the department. we wowed up --
fbi, atf, and u.s. marshals to assist with restoring order in the capital. we had a number of calls, it was the same, more or less, nonstop all afternoon. >> did you speak to the vice president that day? >> twice. the first call was a one-on-one stunt discussion, somewhat akin to the congressional leadership calls, updating him on what we are doing to assist. the second call was a conference call around 7:00, with the president, congressional leaders, senior white house staff, other cabinet officials to address the order that appeared to be close to being restored, but or that security will still be determined. what time could be congress reassemble? the answer was 8:00, and thankfully congress did reassemble, and complete
escaped constitutional duty. there is one highlight of the second call with vice president, which is mr. donahue, who had gone to the rotunda of the capital, to give a firsthand of the accounts. he was able to tell folks on the call, including the vice president, that he thought 8:00 would work. >> did you speak to the president on january 6th? >> no, i spoke to number of senior white house officials, but not the president. >> mr. donahue, on january 6th, we know from mr. rosen, that you helped in the effort to reconvene the joint session, is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> we see here in a video that we are going to play, you arriving with your security detail. to help secure the capital. 30 minutes after you arrived in the capital, did you lead a briefing for the vice president? >> i'm not exactly sure what the timeframe was, but i did
participate in the call, and participate in briefing the congressional leadership that night. >> where did you conduct a call? >> i was in office, i'm not entirely sure, my detail found it, the acute sticks in the rotunda was not conducive to the call. i participated into phone calls, one at 1800, and 1900 that night from the office. >> what time did you leave the capitol? >> i waited until the senate was back in session, which i believe they were gaveled in a few minutes after 8 pm. once they were back in session, and we were confident that the entire facility was secured and cleared, that there were no individuals hiding in closets or desks, that there were no ieds, or other suspicious devices left behind. i left minutes later, has probably gone by 8:30. >> did you ever hear from
president trump that day? >> no, like the ag, i spoke to pat cipollone, and mark meadows, the vice president, in the congressional leadership, but i never spoke to the president that day. >> can you showcase the evidence of the americans before us to stand up for the democracy? mr. rosen, mr. donahue, they're committed to the oath that they take in the department of justice. on january 6th itself, they assisted the attack while our commander-in-chief stayed silent. the bravery is a high moment in the sordid story of what led to january 6th. my colleagues and i appeared to also take an oath, some of them failed to uphold theirs, instead chose to spread the big lie. days after the tragic events of january 6th, some of these same republican members requested pardons in the waning days of
the trump administration. five days after the attack on the capital, representative moe brooks sent the email on the screen now. as you see, he emailed the white house, quote, pursuant to a request from matt gates, requesting a pardon for representative gates himself, and unnamed others. witnesses told the select committee that he offered pardons to a wide range of individuals connected to the president. let's listen to some of that testimony. >> was president -- >> i believe so. >> the general tone, was that we could get prosecuted because we were in the defense of the president's positions on these things. the pardon that he was discussing, requesting, has as
broad as you can describe, from the beginning of time up until today. for any and all things. he mentioned nixon, and i said nixon's pardon was never nearly that broad. >> are you aware of any issues of democracy pardons? >> mr. brooks, i know both advocated for their blanket pardon, and a handful of other members that were not at the december 21st meeting. as the preemptive pardons. mr. gates was personally pushing for a pardon, and he was doing so since early december, i'm not sure why, he reached out to me to ask if we had a meeting with mr. meadows about receiving a presidential pardon. several of them did, --
>> so you mentioned, mr. gates, mr. brooks? >> mr. biggs did, mr. jordan talked about congressional pardons but he never asked me for one. it is more for an update on whether the white house was going to party members of congress. mr. gohmert asked for one as well. mr. perry also asked for a pardon. >> mr. perry, did he ask you directly? >> yes he did. >> did marjorie taylor greene contact yellow and? >> no, i heard that she asked white house counsel office for a pardon from mr. philbin, but i did not frequently communicate with mrs. greene. >> are you aware of any conversations or communications about the possibility of giving congressman matt gates a pardon? >> i know he had asked for it,
but i'm not sure if he ever received one, or what happened with it. >> how do you know that he asked for a pardon? >> he told me. >> tell us about that. >> you told me he asked meadows for a pardon. >> the involved in or did you witness any conversations about the possibility of a blanket pardon for everyone involved in january 6th? >> i heard that mentioned, yes. >> do you know whether the president had any conversations about potentially pardoning any family members? >> i know he had hinted at a blanket pardon for the january 6th and then for anybody, but i think he had for all of the staff and everyone involved. not with january 6th, but just before he left office, i know he had talked about that. >> the only reason that i know to ask for a pardon, is because
you think you have committed a crime. thank you, mister chairman, i yield back. >> i wanted to thank our witnesses for joining us today, the members of the select committee may have additional questions for today's witnesses, and we ask that you respond expeditiously, in writing to these questions. without objection, members will be permitted ten business days to submit statements for the record including opening remarks, and additional questions for the witnesses. without objection, the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, for a closing statement. >> thank, you mister chairman, the justice department lawyers are not the presidents personal lawyers. we count on them to be on the side of the law, and to defend the best interests of the united states, not the best interest of any political campaign. that has been since the department was founded, and since the civil war.
justice department lawyers are supposed to play it 100% straight. president trump tried to erase his loss at the ballot box by parachuting an unqualified man into the top job of justice. it was a power play to win at all costs, with no regard for the will of the american people. it was about ignoring millions of votes, ignore them, throw them out, labeled them fraudulent, corrupt, illegal, whatever, facts were clearly just an inconvenience. from the oval office, president trump urged others to bring his big lie to life. he begged, just say that the election was corrupt, and leave the rest to me and the republican congressman. he did not care with the departments investigation proved, what's good were facts when they would only confirm his loss? it is no surprise that all of the far out, fully fabricated whack job conspiracy theories collapsed under even the slightest true scrutiny.
that insanity went from the internet to the highest levels of government in no time. the bottom line, the most senior leadership of the justice department from attorney general bill barr, jeff rosen, his successor and his deputy richard donoghue, everybody accept -- the conspiracy theories were false. the allegation of a stolen election was a lie. the data left no room for doubt, nothing to question. the constitution left no room for president trump to change the outcome of the election. we are here today because the facts were irrelevant to president trump, it was about protecting his very real power, and very fragile ego. even if it required recklessly undermining our entire electoral system. by wildly casting baseless doubt upon it. in short, he was able to
sacrifice our republic to prolong his presidency. i can imagine no more dishonourable act by a president. we owe a great debt of gratitude from these men that you have heard from today. real leaders, who stood for justice, when it was in grave peril. they put their country first, when the leader of the free world demanded otherwise. they threatened to resign, rather than corrupt our democracy, and thanks largely to each of them, president trump's coup failed. contrast that to jeff clark, who do exactly where the president wanted, say there was massive fraud, forget the facts, and leave the rest to his congressional friends. mr. clark refused to cooperate with this committee, he pled the fifth over 120 times. why risk self incrimination? president trump's congressional
friends, some of them are angling for pardons? they knew that every bit of what they did was a lie and it was wrong. that is all the more reason to respect us that came here to testify today. we thanked them for their unflinching service in the face of incredible pressure. as we said, the only thing necessary to be able to concede is good men who do nothing, thankfully, there were good people in the justice department. you heard it from other good people as well, unseeded a, they too defended us. i am still unchanged, the oath that we take has to mean something. it has to cut to the core, of who we are, and be the driving force of our service to this nation. we, on this committee, we may be able to shine light on the darkness, that is not enough.
it is now up to every american, now and in the future, to stand for truth. to reject the law is, wherever we confront them in our towns, in our capitals, and our friendships, and our families. and at the ballot box. and within our own minds and hearts. thank, you mister chairman. i yield back. >> without objection, the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wyoming, miss cheney, for closing statement. >> thank you very much, mister chairman, i again want to thank the witnesses for being here today. after today, i expect that there will be some who label you agents of the deep state, or something else conspiratorial or nonsensical. meant to justify knowing what you said today, and ignoring the facts. maybe, the short term cost of acting honorably and telling the truth. your actions should have importance and a long term
impact. it will help us keep on the course set by the framers of our constitution. let me paraphrase the words of john adams and others. whether ours should continue to be a government of laws, and not of men, is ultimately for the american people to decide. let me also make a broader statement to millions of americans, who put their trust in donald trump. in these hearings so far, you have heard from more than a dozen republicans, who have told you what's actually happened in the weeks before january 6th. you will hear from more in the hearings to come. several of them served donald trump and his administration, others in his campaign. others have been conservative republicans for their entire careers. it can be difficult to accept that president trump abused your trust. that he deceive you. many will invent excuses to ignore that fact. that is a fact.
i wish it wasn't true, but it is. thank, you mister chairman, i yield back. >> again, i thank our witnesses, and thank my colleagues for this hearing. as we conclude our fifth hearing in this series, i want to remind the american people of a few things that the committee has shown. donald trump lost the 2020 election. top republican officials who supported trump knew that he lost, and told him that he lost. trump knew he lost. those who say that the election was affected by widespread voter fraud are lying. they were lying in 2020, they were lying in 2021, and indeed, they are lying today. donald trump went to court, that is the right that any candidate seeking the outcome of an election must do.
donald trump lost in court. dozens and dozens of times. he lost in part because there was no evidence that voter fraud had any impact on the results of the election. to borrow a phrase from our witness earlier this week, mr. bowers, all he had was theories, and no evidence. as i've said, if you are running for office in the united states, that is the end of the line. you accept accords judgment, you can see the race, you respect the rule of law, and the will of the voters. but for donald trump, that was not the end of the line. not even close. the voters refused to keep him in office, the courts refused to keep him in office. but he continued to lie. he went in search of anybody
that would go along with his scheme. we have shown today, he pressured the justice department to act as an arm of his reelection campaign. he hoped that law enforcement officials would give the appearance of legitimacy to his lies, so that he and his allies would have some veneer of credibility when he told the country that the election was stolen earlier this week, we showed how donald trump brought the weight of the presidency down on local and state officials who were trying to do their jobs and ultimately did, they investigated his claims and found them to be false. they then endured trump's pressure campaign, at great risk to themselves, and their loved ones. of course, there was this scheme to get the former vice
president mike pence to violate the law and the constitution, by ejecting the electoral college votes on january 6th, and blocking peaceful transfer of power. i mentioned the former vice president last, because as we showed, when he refused to bow to the president, the pressure in those critical moments on january 6th, that was a backup plan for stopping the transfer of power. the mob, and they're violent threats. up to this point, we have shown the inner workings of what was essentially a political coup. an attempt to use the powers of the government, from the local level, all the way up, to overturn the results of the election. find me the votes, send fake electors. just say that the election was corrupt, and along the way, we saw threats of violence, we saw
some people were willing to do. in a service of the nation, the constitution, no, in service of donald trump. when this select committee continues this series of hearings, we are going to show how donald trump tapped into the threat of violence, how he summoned the mob to washington, and how after corruption and political pressure failed, to keep donald trump in office, violence became the last option. i investigation is ongoing, these hearings have spurred an influx of new information that the committee and i are investigating, to work to assess. we are committed to presenting the american people with the most complete information possible. that will be our aim when we
mr. thompson: the intent of the hearing is to show how donald trump tried to use the justice department against the citizens of the united states and promote his own selfish agenda, which absolutely was not true. there was no information or proof that the election was fraudulent reporter: what about the request for a pardon -- mr. thompson: i'm not aware of it but everything we showed today we can prove.
reporter: are you going to work to make the d.o.j. more independent? mr. thompson: i'm proud we had excellent civil servants appointed by the president who did not succumb to his pressure to get him to do wrong and it's a tribute to those and others who basically said if you press this, i will resign, or we will resign. we think it was important for the floik see the kind of pressure that the white house was putting on the department of justice to do something that was illegal. reporter: is it off the table for pat cipollone? mr. thompson: it is not off the table. reporter: can you talk about the raid on jeffrey stark's home? mr. thompson: i read about it a few minutes before the hearing starts. we're not privy to what the
department of justice's reason for doing it. as you know, we demonstrated he was recommended to the department of justice and people felt he was absolutely unqualified to do so. reporter: you sound like you have more than one hearing after this. mr. thompson: right now we have two scheduled hearings in july. we'll talk about the domestic violence and the 187 minutes. reporter: multiple members of congress asked for pardons, what consequences, if any, should there be? should the justice department take action? what are the next steps after this? mr. thompson: i think the important thing is the fact that you only ask for a pardon when you think you've done something wrong. if those individuals who we offered today feel they were doing something wrong and deserve a pardon, that tends to
verify that what the president was promoting and what other people were promoting around whether or not the elections were legitimate or not obviously it says that they thought they were doing something wrong. reporter: you talked several times, when are you planning to have a hearing that lays out their involvement in donald trump's plans? mr. thompson: we decide our own agenda, it's more than just those members. those members identify with the election being stolen. they promoatd it. there's absolutely no truth to it. and in the end those members who identify as a group of members who wanted pardons. now the only reason i know that an individual would want a
pardon is that they think they've done something wrong. you have to ask those individuals what do you think you did wrong if you wanted a pardon? reporter: [inaudible] reporter: matt gaetz and marjorie taylor greene -- mr. thompson: we don't need them. reporter: they testified they were at the december 21 member. mr. thompson: then they need to say what they did at the meeting we said they were at the meeting. reporter: do you think you need pence's -- mike pence's testimony to fill any holes in your investigation or any of the testimony you've already heard? mr. thompson: at this point, with the hearings we have had, we think we've done a good job in telling the story as to what happened. we would love to have former
vice president pence's testimony. we have sought it. we've talked to his attorneys in the past. but we are moving on with the work. reporter: what about former president trump? will the committee invite him to speak? mr. thompson: he's been invited publicly a number of times if he wants to come, as i said, and put himself under oath before the committee, and follow whatever our established procedure is we'd love to have him. reporter: at what point do you stop fact finding and accept, ok, we know as much as we know? you could always just keep finding out new information. mr. thompson: we presented a lot of what we found today. and at some point we'll get to the business of writing the report. and making recommendations. reporter: what do we know about the members of congress?
mr. thompson: we served mo brooks and got a response if him. reporter: what is that? mr. thompson: he said he will come before the committee. reporter: what about his conditions, he laid out conditions you have to abide by. mr. thompson: you got a copy of that right? we have our own policy. every witness we've had, they come and submit to the conditions of the committee. and he's in his right to say i'll come with these conditions, but i don't know what they are. i have not seen the letter. i'm glad he acknowledged receipt of it. obviously we have our protocol for -- for doing any of those depositions. reporter: have we heard about the extent of members of congress' a involvement? have you named every single person? do we know the extent of which members in congress were involved in president trump's
attempt to steal the election? mr. thompson: no >> find all the hearings to watch on-demand as well as other events related to the u.s. capitol and ongoing investigation. the january 6 committee is expected to meet again in july. we will continue our live coverage on the c-span networks. you can also watch on the go with the free c-span now video app. >> the house meets today to consider gun violence legislation that passed with bipartisan support in the senate on thursday here the bill offers state grants for red flag laws and crisis prevention programs
and also enhances background checks for people under the age of 21. you can follow the house live charting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span or watch on the free c-span now video app. >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government, funded by these television stations and more, including mediacom. >> internet traffic and we never slowed it down. schools and businesses went virtual we powered a new reality. at mediacom, we are built to keep you ahead. >> mediacom supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. >> coming up this morning, we will discuss the bipartisan gun safety bill that was passed by the senate yesterday and the latest january 6 committee hearing with two members of the
house. first, kat cammack of florida and steve cohen of tennessee. be sure to join the discussion with your calls, texts and tweets. "washington journal" is next. ♪ host: good morning. it is friday, june 24th, 2022. day 5 of the january 6 hearings are in the books. . the panel used yesterday's time to detail what was called a pressure campaign on justice department officials to support former president trump's claims. the committee also played testimony indicating at least five house republicans. this morning, we are getting the reaction to yesterday's hearing. our phone lines, as usual, by clinical
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