Jan. 6 committee hearing today will focus on Trump’s attempt to influence the Justice Department — watch live

Thursday will mark the fifth recent public hearing of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. Committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said the hearing should focus on former President Trump’s attempts to influence the Justice Department to help him annul the 2020 presidential election.

“Just as we heard today that Donald Trump was deeply involved in the scheme to pressure state officials to overturn the election results, we will hear on Thursday that Donald Trump was also the driving force behind the election. ‘an effort to corrupt the Justice Department,’ Thompson said. at Tuesday’s hearing.

CBS News will broadcast the hearing as a special report at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, led by “CBS Evening News” anchor and editor Norah O’Donnell.

Witnesses will include former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen; former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue; and former Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel. Donoghue testified before the committee that Trump suggested replacing Rosen with a former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark.

“I said, ‘Sir, I would resign immediately. There’s no way I’m serving a minute under this guy, Jeff Clark,'” Donoghue recalled, according to a clip of Donoghue the committee played on Tuesday.

House Jan. 6 Select Committee Holds Fourth Hearing
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) hugs former Georgia election worker Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss after testifying at the fourth hearing into the Jan. 6 inquiry at the Cannon House office building on June 21 2022 in Washington, DC.

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

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

Committee aides said Thursday that the committee would argue that Trump only failed because the Justice Department’s leadership team threatened to resign. There could potentially be a video of Clark’s meeting with the committee, during which he pleaded for the Fifth.

In addition to Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department into saying there was voter fraud, the hearing will also focus on Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to whether he files a request or with the Trump campaign to challenge the election results, committee aides said Thursday morning. The hearing will also consider how Trump wanted the Justice Department to send letters to states regarding the sanctity of their elections, according to committee aides.

Trump’s threats to replace or fire Justice Department leaders — which have been met with resistance from a few senior executives — will also be considered, committee aides said.

Committee aides said the hearing will consider Trump’s efforts to appoint a special counsel to investigate voter fraud. And the focus will also be on efforts to pressure Georgia and U.S. Attorney BJay Pak, who testified earlier this month.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger is expected to lead much of Thursday’s hearing and questioning.

Tuesday hearing focused on fake voter scheme and threats made to state lawmakers and election officials triggered by Trump’s direct verbal attacks on them or the more general insistence that the election was stolen.

Former election worker Shaye Moss testified on Tuesday that she and her family were threatened “all because of lies” about stealing the election. With her mother and fellow 2020 election officer Ruby Freeman by her side, Moss detailed the threats she received from Trump supporters due to false claims made by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

“Lots of threats,” she testified. “Wishing death on me. … A lot of them were racist. A lot of them were just hateful.”

Tuesday, Vice President Liz Cheney said she thinks Americans deserve to hear publicly from former White House lawyer Pat Cipollone, who was in the White House when Trump tried to sway election officials and encouraged his own vice president to try to thwart the 2020 presidential election.

“The American people have yet to hear from Mr. Trump’s former White House attorney, Pat Cipollone,” Cheney said in his closing statement. “Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here. Indeed, our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone and his office attempted to do what was right. They attempted to arrest a number of President Trump’s plans for Jan. 1. 6.”

Rebecca Kaplan and Rob Legare contributed to this report.

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