Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin claimed on Sunday that former President Trump’s actions after the 2020 election were “leading up” to a coup.
Mr. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, made the allegation during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” During the discussion, Mr. Durbin claimed that Mr. Trump pressured the Justice Department to investigate “bizarre theories of why that election was invalid.”
“This president is not subtle when he wants something,” he said. “The former president is not subtle when he wants something.”
Mr. Durbin, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, is leading a probe into the Trump administration’s response to the 2020 election.
“It really is important that we ask these questions because what was going on in the Department of Justice was frightening from a constitutional point of view,” he said.
As part of the effort, the committee has interviewed several high-ranking former administration officials, including ex-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. Mr. Durbin claimed that during that interview, Mr. Rosen was “asked to do certain things” related to states where the election results were marginal.
“He was being asked by the White House leadership to meet with certain people who had these wild, bizarre theories of why that election was invalid,” Mr. Durbin said. “And he refused to do it.”
The majority whip did clarify that Mr. Trump never asked any members of his Justice Department to overturn the results of the 2020 contest. While Mr. Durbin dismissed the idea that Mr. Trump‘s actions were an “attempted coup,” he claimed the former president’s conduct was “leading up to that process.”