Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee concluded in a review that former President Donald Trump did not direct the Justice Department to act outside the law in its efforts to secure the 2020 presidential election, The Federalist reported.
“The available evidence shows that President Trump was concerned about ‘legitimate complaints’ and ‘reports of crimes,’ and that the electoral system writ large had failed the American people,” GOP lawmakers wrote, based on interviews with witnesses who also testified before Democrats.
Trump exercised little control over his subordinate agencies, especially the Justice Department, in the months after the election.
Attorney General Bill Barr told him that his concerns about election fraud were “bulls***,” and he refused to follow Trump’s order to investigate widespread election fraud.
“President Donald Trump’s focus was not on directing the DOJ or the FBI to take certain action; rather his focus was on making sure that they were aware of election allegations and that they were doing their job to properly investigate them,” the Republicans wrote in the report.
As the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, led the investigation into the actions at the DOJ and FBI following the election.
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who opened the committee’s investigation reached the opposite conclusion, finding that Trump weaponized the DOJ to overturn the 2020 election results.
That theory could not muster any more evidence than testimony from disgruntled former Trump administration bureaucrats, like former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen; former Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue; and BJay Pak, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. All were open NeverTrumpers.
Trump’s actions in the waning days of his presidency stood in stark contrast with those of his predecessor, who had the top law-enforcement agency marching lockstep with his orders to run political interference and spy on the incoming Republican president.
In 2016, then-President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden directed the DOJ to investigate Trump’s alleged connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin in an effort to overturn the election results.