WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s staff began sending emails to Jeffrey Rosen, the No. 2 at the Justice Department, asking him to embrace Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election at least ten days before Rosen assumed the role of acting attorney general, according to new emails disclosed by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in advance of a hearing to probe the causes of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
On the same day as the electoral college met to certify the election results — which was also the day Trump announced that William Barr would be stepping down as attorney general — his assistant sent Rosen an email with a list of complaints concerning the way the election had been carried out in Antrim County, Michigan.
The file included a forensic analysis of the Dominion voting machines the county employed, alleging they were “intentionally and purposefully” calibrated to create fraudulent results, and “talking points” that could be used to counter any arguments “against us.”
“It’s indicative of what the machines can and did do to move votes,” the document Trump sent to Rosen reads. “We believe it has happened everywhere.”
The email — one of several previously undisclosed records released by the Oversight Committee Tuesday morning — sheds light on the type of pressure Trump was putting on the Justice Department to take up his crusade against Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.
It also shows how Trump was attempting to influence Rosen before he stepped into the top role at DOJ, where he would come under continued pressure from the White House to launch a formal investigation into the integrity of the 2020 election — pressure he resisted — in advance of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
A lawyer for Rosen did not immediately return a request for comment.
On Tuesday afternoon, the House is continuing its examinations of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol with a pair of simultaneous hearings, both probing the military and law enforcement responses to the attack as it unfolded.
Gen. Charles E. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, who served as the director and deputy directors of the Army staff on the day of the insurrection, will deliver their first public congressional testimony before the Committee on House Oversight and Reform.
Both were involved in determining whether the National Guard should be dispatched to aid Capitol Police and local law enforcement agencies in holding back a crowd of 10,000 pro-Trump demonstrators, approximately 800 of whom managed to break into the Capitol building.
In testimony before a joint Senate panel investigating the attacks, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund said that Piatt was one of the Pentagon officials who resisted his entreaties to dispatch National Guard to the Capitol, effectively slow-walking the response.
They will be appearing alongside FBI Director Christopher Wray, who has previously testified to other congressional panels about his agency’s response. Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman, who was also invited to appear, declined citing a lack of proper notice and scheduling conflicts, according to a statement provided by the Capitol Police.
Her conflict is another Jan. 6 hearing, this one at the House Committee on Administration, which is interviewing the Inspector General of the U.S. Capitol Police alongside the director of justice and law enforcement issues at the Government Accountability Office at the same time as the House Oversight hearing.
The Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.