As the investigation into the Capitol riots begins, former president Donald Trump has been forced to defend telling a senior Justice Department official to “just say that the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me,” claiming he was not attempting to subvert democracy.
The conversation was recorded in the memos of Richard Donoghue, a senior official for the Department of Justice (DoJ), detailing a conversation between himself, Trump, and acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen in December of last year in which Trump appears to be asking the DoJ official to proclaim the election fraudulent despite no evidence. The Memos have been released by the House oversight committee investigating the riots. The memos were released as the first hearing staged by a House select committee began in Washington to investigate the riots.
Trump’s role in the riot has been subjected to great scrutiny, with many believing he played a large role in its instigation after telling his followers to “fight like hell” to overturn the election results. Almost 150 Republicans in the House and Senate have lodged objections to the results in Arizona, Pennsylvania, or both in an apparent bid to overturn the election results. There has been no evidence of election fraud in any state.
Despite the allegations, Trump has remained popular amongst the Republican party and has hinted at re-running for the presidency in 2024.