Today’s January 6 committee hearing will focus on Trump’s attempt to influence the Justice Department: watch live

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

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

CBS News has learned that Clark’s home was raided Wednesday morning.

CBS News had previously confirmed that federal investigators have been serving subpoenas and appearing at locations connected to people who may have been involved in efforts to use “invalid voters.”

Representative Elaine Luria told CBS News on the way to the courtroom that Clark will be “central to today’s hearing.” She said that she did not know in advance about the search of her house.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of only two Republicans on the committee to take a leading role in Thursday’s hearing, said in his opening statement that Trump wanted the Justice Department to say the election was “corrupt” and leave the rest to Republican members of Congress. So, Kinzinger said, the president sought a new attorney general, who would be his third in two weeks. He needed someone capable of ignoring the facts, Kinzinger said.

Capitol Riot Investigation
Steven Engel, former Deputy Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel, from left, Jeffrey Rosen, former Acting Attorney General, and Richard Donoghue, former Acting Deputy Attorney General, are sworn in to testify.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP


Clark, an environmental lawyer, had no real qualifications to be attorney general, Kinzinger said.

“What was his only qualification? That he would do what the president wanted him to do,” Kinzinger said.

Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said in his opening statement that “today we will tell the story of how the lobbying campaign also targeted the federal agency charged with enforcing our laws, the Department of Justice.”

Committee aides said the committee will argue that Trump only failed because the Justice Department leadership team threatened to resign. There could potentially be a video of Clark’s meeting with the committee, during which he advocated for 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 requested and that he 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 former president’s video 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 all legal remedies are exhausted,” which differed from her testimony before the select committee. CBS News has confirmed the Times account.

In her interview with House investigators 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.

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

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

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

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

Leave a Comment