Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway asserted Friday that the Biden administration should open a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election through a “self-coup.”
The attorney, whose wife is former top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, made the case that Trump engaged in a “probable criminal conspiracy” by urging former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to discredit the election.
“This was absolutely one of the most dangerous moments in American history, the most dangerous moment ever caused by a president of the United States,” Conway said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“We’ve seen the movie before in some way, that President Trump would try to coerce federal agencies into doing things that are questionable, that benefit him personally … but this is the most extreme possibility, that he would try to use the mechanisms of government, particularly the Department of Justice, to perpetuate himself in office unlawfully and to basically launch a self-coup,” he added.
Leaks from private testimony Rosen recently gave to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed that the former acting Justice Department head said Trump was “persistent” in pressuring him and the department to discredit the results of the 2020 election, according to the Washington Post.
Besides the closed-door testimony, notes from a Dec. 27 phone call featuring Trump, Rosen, and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, reported the former president urging the Justice Department to declare the election “corrupt.”
“Just say that the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the [Republican] Congressmen,” Trump said, according to the notes, which the House Oversight Committee made public on July 30. “We have an obligation to tell people that this was an illegal, corrupt election.”
Conway named multiple federal statutes which he believes Trump violated, including one in reference to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., as well as restrictions created by the Hatch Act prohibiting political coercion of federal employees.
“If Donald Trump had directed or tried to coerce acting Attorney General Rosen to walking down Pennsylvania Avenue with a ‘Trump 2020’ flag, that would have been criminal,” Conway said. “Here, this was much worse. He was attempting to coerce the Department of Justice, coerce Rosen into engaging in what was a purely political act.”
Trump’s campaign filed several lawsuits alleging widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, most of which were tossed by the courts. Some of those Trump charged with perpetrating the fraud, such as Dominion Voting Systems and Smartmatic, have since filed suits against Trump allies who echoed the claims of electoral misconduct, rejecting the accusations and requesting billions of dollars in damages.
Congressional lawmakers in both chambers, including those sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight Committee, are conducting investigations into Trump’s effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election following his defeat.
A select House committee was formed separately to investigate what led up to and caused the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Trump was impeached on the charge of inciting an insurrection for his words and actions preceding the attack, but he was acquitted in the Senate. The then-president was impeached on two Ukraine-related charges in 2019 before being acquitted in the Senate.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
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