President Trump and White House aides pressured then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to look into stolen election allegations following the November 2020 presidential vote, according to a batch of emails released Tuesday by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Mr. Trump’s personal assistant and his chief of staff pressed senior Department of Justice officials to investigate allegations of fraud and complaints about elections in a number of states, including Michigan, Georgia and New Mexico, all won by Democratic rival Joseph R. Biden.
The Hill newspaper and CNN reported the Trump White House sent requests to senior DOJ officials shortly before the president promoted them. The timing coincided with then-Attorney General William P. Barr tendering his resignation.
Mr. Barr had said department investigators had found no evidence that widespread voter fraud swung the election to Mr. Biden.
The emails show Mr. Rosen found himself on defense in mid-December after Mr. Trump’s assistant sent him and acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue an email laying out voter fraud claims in Antrim County, Michigan. The allegations included the charge that voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems “can and are being manipulated.”
“This is a Cover-up of voting crimes,” the email charged, and “laws have been broken.”
“This is a seditious conspiracy to undermine the election process and the will of the American people,” the email read.
Mr. Trump lost Michigan.
A Dec. 29 email from then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows included a document “making claims of voter fraud caused by satellites from Italy.”
Mr. Meadows also sought to have then-Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark investigate voter fraud issues in Georgia.
When Mr. Meadows asked the DOJ to look into allegations of “signature anomalies” in Fulton County, Georgia, Mr. Rosen wrote to Mr. Donoghue: “Can you believe this? I am not going to respond to the message below.”
Mr. Donoghue replied: “At least it’s better than the last one, but that doesn’t say much.”
In another exchange on Jan. 1, Mr. Donoghue referred to a request as “pure insanity” after Mr. Rosen forwarded him an email from Mr. Meadows that included a link to a YouTube video about Italian satellites, CNN reported.
In another exchange, Mr. Rosen informed Mr. Donoghue he had been asked to have the FBI meet with a man named Brad Johnson and wrote that he offered to meet him in the Washington field office with “any evidence he purports to have.”
“On a follow-up call, I learned that Johnson is working with [Trump legal adviser] Rudy Giuliani, who regarded my comment as ‘an insult,’” Mr. Rosen wrote. “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.”