The panel’s Democratic majority highlighted a number of Trump’s actions in the report, including efforts to get Justice Department officials to declare the election “corrupt” in a fierce bid to stay in the White House.
Trump’s efforts did not succeed, but Thursday’s report notes that his attempts provoked a near revolt in the department among officials who pushed back against the former president’s false claims of fraud.
“In attempting to enlist [the Justice Department] for personal, political purposes in an effort to maintain his hold on the White House, Trump grossly abused the power of the presidency,” the near 400-page report states.
“He also arguably violated the criminal provisions of the Hatch Act, which prevents any person — including the president — from commanding federal government employees to engage in political activity.”
The assessment notes that Trump sought to replace then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Clark, a loyalist to the president. Trump sought to have Clark push claims of widespread voter fraud.
The report says that on Jan. 3, Rosen, his deputy Richard Donoghue and others met with Trump in the Oval Office to dissuade him from the idea, threatening to resign if it moved forward. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy also threatened to resign if Trump insisted on the plot.