‘Just say the election is corrupt’: Justice Department rebutted Trump’s ‘arsenal’ of election fraud claims

Jeffrey Rosen, former acting Attorney General testifies during the Jan, 6, 2021 insurrection hearing.
Jeffrey Rosen testifies before the House Jan. 6 committee on Thursday, alongside Steven Engel, former assistant attorney general, left, and Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general.
(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

President Trump told members of the Department of Justice to say that the 2020 presidential election was illegitimate despite a lack of evidence, former acting Deputy Atty. Gen. Richard Donoghue told the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday.

“Just say the election is corrupt and leave the rest to me and Republican congressmen,” Trump said, according to notes Donoghue took during a December 2020 discussion with the president.

Thursday’s hearing focused on how Trump and his allies, including several Republicans members of Congress, tried to pressure the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of voter fraud and help overturn the results of the 2020 election. Donoghue and former acting Atty. Gen. Jeffrey Rosen echoed former Atty. Gen. William Barr’s earlier testimony, testifying that they explained to the president in multiple meetings that their investigations of fraud claims turned up no credible evidence.

Donoghue said he rebutted an “arsenal” of allegations raised by Trump and tried to explain several times that the Department of Justice represents the U.S. government and has no role in managing state elections.


“States run their elections,” he said. “We are not quality control for the states.”