Attendees said the hearing would also look into discussions inside the White House about appointing a special counsel to investigate Trump’s voter fraud claims, which emerged in a heated December 2020 Oval Office meeting with Sidney Powell and Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael. Flynn.
DOJ officials, along with attorneys from the White House counsel’s office, participated in a dramatic Jan. 3, 2021, meeting in the Oval Office with Clark and Rosen in attendance, where Trump ultimately backed off his plan to install Clark as head of the Justice Department, after Rosen, Donoghue and Engel threatened to resign in protest.
According to a copy of his written statement to be delivered at Thursday’s hearing, Rosen will say the Justice Department received no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“Some argued to the former president and the public that the elections were corrupt and stolen. That view was wrong then and it is wrong today, and I hope that our presence here today will help reaffirm that fact,” Rosen will say.
The timeline is still fluid and subject to change, but a round of hearings in July is the committee’s current goal, select committee chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democratic congressman from Mississippi, told reporters Wednesday.
Clark will be a major focus
On Thursday, Clark’s behind-the-scenes efforts to help the Trump campaign subvert the election are likely to be the main focus.
Committee aides said the hearing would focus on Clark’s role within the Justice Department in pushing Trump’s false fraud claims. Clark planned to “reverse the findings of the department’s voter fraud investigation,” according to committee aides, and wanted to send letters to states suggesting fraud.
His push was quickly rebuffed by Rosen and Donoghue, leading to the Oval Office showdown where Trump considered putting Clark in charge of the department.
While serving as interim chief of civil cases at the Justice Department at the end of the Trump presidency, Clark hatched plans to provide backing to the legislature in Georgia and other states to undermine the results of the popular vote. He gave credence to unfounded conspiracy theories about voter fraud, according to Justice Department documents, and reached out to Trump to become attorney general, a Senate investigation found this month.
The extent of Clark’s talks with Trump in the days leading up to January 6 is not yet publicly known.
Clark appeared before the committee for a statement in February and advocated for the Fifth, according to aides.
The chaos of the Department of Justice has been analyzed previously
Aides to the Jan. 6 committee said the panel’s investigation is answering a different set of questions than the Senate investigation, noting that at each of the committee’s previous hearings, there were some parts of the story that were known. and others unknown.
“Because the events of January 6 are outside the immediate scope of the Committee’s investigation, this report is being made available to the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, as well as the public, to assist in their investigation,” the Senate Judiciary Committee said. wrote.
In addition to providing new details about how Perry was the nexus between Trump and Clark, the text messages provided by Meadows and the court documents have helped the House committee fill in significant gaps about the key role the little-known Republican congressman played in almost every step in plotting to reverse or delay the certification of the 2020 election.
Kinzinger will lead Thursday’s hearing.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, will be the committee member doing most of the questioning during Thursday’s hearing focused on the Justice Department.
The committee raised the pardons at its opening hearing. Perry subsequently denied seeking a pardon, calling it an “absolutely shameless and heartless lie”.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” earlier this month, Kinzinger said that more information about the pardons would come out at the hearing he would lead.
When asked about Perry’s denial, Kinzinger said: “I don’t want to put my hand in this. We’ll publish what we need to publish. But we’re not going to make accusations or say things without proof or evidence backing.” it’s.”
Former White House lawyer remains a question mark
However, Cipollone will not testify at Thursday’s hearing and it is unclear if he will at the committee hearings.
Thompson said he’s hopeful Cipollone will testify at a public hearing, “but you know, it could happen, it couldn’t.”
Asked if the committee had video testimony from Cipollone to play during a hearing in case he declines to testify in public, Thompson said, “I’m going to save that for later.”
At Tuesday’s hearing, the committee’s vice chair, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, called Cipollone and said the panel was working to secure her testimony.
“The American people have yet to hear from Mr. Trump’s former White House lawyer, Pat Cipollone. Our committee is certain that Donald Trump does not want Mr. Cipollone to testify here. In fact, our evidence shows that Mr. Cipollone and his office tried to do the right thing. They tried to stop a series of plans by President Trump for January 6,” Cheney said. “We believe the American people deserve to hear from Mr. Cipollone personally. He should appear before this committee and we are working to secure testimony from him.”
However, Cipollone has resisted providing public testimony, believing he has been sufficiently cooperative with the committee by appearing for a closed-door interview, CNN reported Tuesday.
The hearing schedule is still a work in progress
Thursday’s hearing was initially supposed to happen last Wednesday, but the committee postponed it the day before.
The committee had initially said it would hold all of its hearings in June, but the schedule is now likely to be pushed back to July.
There are at least two more hearings after Thursday that the committee previously filed: One focused on the extremists who attacked Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 and another on what Trump was and was not doing in response to the attack.
But with new information reaching the committee, aides declined to say Wednesday if those would be the only remaining hearings or when they would take place, adding that the schedule of the hearings was being determined by the investigation.
“There’s been a flood of new testing since we started,” committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, said Wednesday. “And we just have to catch our breath, review the new evidence and then bring it to the hearings.”
CNN’s Evan Perez and Brian Rokus contributed to this report.