Trump attempted to use DOJ to overturn election, Senate report reveals


(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

In this Dec. 5, 2020, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Senate Republican candidates in Valdosta, Ga. A report by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Democratic majority details Trump’s extraordinary effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election that he lost.

Colin Moorhead II, Staff Reporter

The 2020 election was not welcomed by former President Donald Trump. For months, he baselessly argued the election was stolen and urged many of his staff and supporters to help him in his efforts to reverse the election results. In frustration, he pushed for the Department of Justice to aid him in overriding the election. Trump wanted the help of the DOJ in order to find counts of voter fraud and uncertify certain state’s electoral outcomes. According to a new Senate report, top Justice Department officials threatened resignation if President Trump replaced the acting Attorney General with one of his more loyal supporters. 

This report, detailed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, provides a timeline of the former President pressuring the DOJ into following his efforts to overturn the election. One of his main goals was to replace acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen with a more loyal supporter, Jeffery Clark. This is similar to the resignation of Attorney General William Barr , after he publicly stated that there was no widespread voter fraud. The rest of the report details how Trump and other advisors sought to overturn the election. 

This report derives from the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating the former President and his efforts to undermine the election. In recent efforts, the Biden Department of Justice has waived questions of privilege. This has led to former acting Attorney General  Rosen and his deputy Richard Donoghue to testify about the actions of the former President. The Committee found that Trump had several calls with top DOJ advisors and officials to form a coalition to investigate the “corrupt” election. The efforts by the former president led to a lengthy meeting on Jan. 3, 2020, to discuss possible actions to replace Attorney General Rosen. During this meeting, Trump realized he would lose the majority of the DOJ leaders if he followed through with his threat against Rosen. 

When asked about possible arrests made of the former President and other advisors, Elizabeth Stiles of John Carroll’s Political Science Department stated, “There are issues of executive privilege here that, although the legalities are murky and largely untested, make prosecuting Trump for his actions while in office unlikely.” This issue could have possible ramifications for Trump if he were to run again in 2024. Stiles explained that, “Trump has a very loyal base so I’m not sure if any of these findings will matter to his more ardent supporters.” She continued, “…and he’s not so popular outside of that enhanced base. So winning in 2024 is a lot harder for him than winning in 2016 for that reason alone.”