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Politics 'Can you believe this?': Emails show how alarmed DOJ leaders were by Trump officials' obsession with overturning the election

21:55  15 june  2021
21:55  15 june  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

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Mark Meadows wearing a suit and tie: Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows. Doug Mills/Getty Images © Doug Mills/Getty Images Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows. Doug Mills/Getty Images
  • Senior DOJ officials were deeply alarmed by top Trump officials' fixation on the election results.
  • Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows repeatedly asked DOJ to investigate bogus conspiracy theories.
  • One request was so concerning the acting AG documented it, while the deputy AG called it "pure insanity."
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Senior officials at the Justice Department expressed deep frustration with top Trump officials' fixation on the election results in the final days of Donald Trump's presidency.

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According to a trove of emails released by the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, repeatedly asked Justice Department officials to investigate claims of purported voter and election fraud.

In a January 1 email to then-acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen, Meadows asked the department to look into a YouTube video in which a retired CIA intelligence officer named Brad Johnson made broad, unverified claims that the US embassy in Rome somehow switched votes from Trump to Biden during the election. The baseless conspiracy theory, dubbed "ItalyGate," caught fire in right-wing circles in the days and weeks after the election, and Johnson was one of its key promoters.

Rosen forwarded Meadows' email to then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, to which Donoghue replied, "Pure insanity."

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Rosen responded to Donoghue saying, "Yes."

He went on to say that after Meadows emailed him the YouTube video, he was asked to have the FBI meet with Johnson.

"I responded that Johnson could call or walk into FBI's Washington Field Office with any evidence he purports to have," Rosen wrote in an email that appears to be a contemporaneous memo, a type of document that law enforcement and intelligence officials use to detail their knowledge of significant or legally dubious interactions.

"On a follow up call, I learned that Johnson is working with Rudy Giuliani, who regarded my comments as 'an insult,'" Rosen continued. "Asked if I would reconsider, I flatly refused, said I would not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his 'witnesses,' and re-affirmed yet again that I will not talk to Giuliani about any of this."

In another January 1 email, Meadows asked Rosen to have the acting assistant attorney general, Jeff Clark, to investigate "signature match anomalies" in Fulton County, Georgia.

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"Can you get Jeff Clark to engage on this issue immediately to determine if there is any truth to this allegation," Meadows wrote.

Rosen also forwarded that email to Donoghue and wrote, "Can you believe this? I am not going to respond to message below."

The emails published by the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday depict the most brazen effort yet by the Trump administration and top officials in the White House to reverse Trump's election defeat. They also illustrate the extent to which repeated requests for investigations by Meadows and others in Trump's orbit alarmed Justice Department officials, some of whom, like Rosen, moved to contemporaneously document the interactions.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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usr: 0
This is interesting!