Watch Live: Jan. 6 hearing focuses on Trump’s attempt to influence Justice Department

FAN Editor

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is holding its fifth public hearing on Thursday, this time focusing on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election.

Witnesses will include former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen; former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue; and former assistant attorney general Steven Engel. Donoghue has testified before the committee that Trump suggested replacing Rosen with former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark

CBS News has learned that Clark’s home was raided on Wednesday morning. CBS News had confirmed that federal investigators have been serving  subpoenas and showing up at locations connected to people who may have participated in efforts to use “invalid electors.”

Rep. Elaine Luria told CBS News on her way to the hearing room that Clark will be “central to today’s hearing.” She said she didn’t know beforehand about the search of his home. 

Engel, according to the obtained testimony, will also say Trump had “every right” to pursue litigation, but absent credible evidence, the DOJ didn’t get involved in election contests. 

Yet, Engel will testify that Clark “took a different view.” 

APTOPIX Capitol Riot Investigation
Jeffrey Rosen, former acting Attorney General, left, and Richard Donoghue, former acting Deputy Attorney General, arrive as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 23, 2022.  Jacquelyn Martin / AP

“Mr. Clark believed that the department should publicly assert that the election results had been marred by fraud and should urge several of the states to replace their previously certified electors,” Engel is expected to say. 

Rosen, the former acting attorney general, will tell the committee that the DOJ “maintained the position that the department had been presented with no evidence of widespread fraud at a scale sufficient to change the outcome of the 2020 election,” according to testimony obtained by CBS News.

“Some argued to the former president and public that the election was corrupt and stolen,” Rosen is expected to say. “That view was wrong then and it is wrong today, and I hope our presence here today helps reaffirm that fact.”

Committee aides said that the committee will argue that Trump only failed because the leadership team at the Justice Department threatened to resign. There could potentially be video from Clark’s meeting with the committee, during which he pleaded the Fifth Amendment. 

Earlier Thursday, documentary filmmaker Alex Holder met with the committee behind closed doors. Holder told reporters after the meeting that he provided all the materials the committee has asked for and would continue to cooperate. He tweeted that he had one interview with Trump before Jan. 6, and two after, but declined to say what the video of the former president showed.

According to the New York Times, Ivanka Trump told the film crew in mid-December 2020 that the former president should “continue to fight until every legal remedy is exhausted,” which differed from her testimony to the select committee. CBS News has confirmed the Times’ account.

In her interview with House investigators that has been shown at earlier public hearings, Ivanka Trump said she “accepted” then-Attorney Bill Barr’s conclusion that there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

Asked about the inconsistencies between Ivanka Trump’s comments to the film crew and her testimony to the select committee, Holder said there were “certainly differences in the things that she says.”

Russell Smith, Holder’s lawyer, said there were “inconsistencies” in Ivanka Trump’s remarks.

“That’s why we’re cooperating with the committee, and they can determine whether there was perjury or something less than that,” Smith told reporters.

Thursday’s hearing is the fifth public hearing so far by the House select committee, which has been investigating the attack for 11 months. The earlier public hearings have focused on other pressure campaigns by Trump, including on state lawmakers and elections officials and Vice President Mike Pence. 

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