Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn
Donald Trump knew he lost the 2020 election, but he did not want to leave the White House and admit his loss publicly so he lied. He lied and he repeatedly tried to force the U.S. Department of Justice to back up those lies and “leave the rest to him.” He was asking his handpicked senior DOJ officials to participate in a criminal conspiracy orchestrated by Trump and his henchmen that at its heart was nothing short of a coup to illegally seize power and overturn the will and the vote of the American people.
First Attorney General William Barr refused – and Barr of course is the man who sat on and mischaracterized the Mueller Report to protect then-President Trump. Barr’s replacement and other senior DOJ leaders appointed by Trump also refused to violate their oaths of office and the United States Constitution by aiding and abetting Trump’s plot. When those senior DOJ officials refused to lie about the election, then-President Trump threatened to name as Acting Attorney General an unqualified environmental lawyer – Jeffrey Clark – willing to follow his orders to lie about the election and participate in his criminal conspiracy.
Testimony today revealed that only threat of mass resignation by senior DOJ officials, if Clark was named Acting A.G., prevented the former President from appointing the unqualified lawyer to the post.
We also learned today that earlier this week federal investigators staged a pre-dawn raid to search the home of Jeffrey Clark as part of their investigation into coordinated efforts by the Trump White House to overturn the 2020 election.
Today, reports were also verified that a number of Republican members of Congress sought preemptive pardons from the Trump before he left office – to shield them from potential prosecution for their roles in attempting to subvert the election.
The American people deserve the truth about the January 6th insurrection. The Select Committee is providing that truth. The American people also deserve justice for that terrible day in our nation’s history – a day when democracy almost fell to an attempted coup. We trust that justice is coming. And ultimately, we need laws in place to guard against this from ever happening again, including provisions from the Protecting Our Democracy Act (which already passed the House) that would insulate the Justice Department from political interference and provide oversight to detect it.