WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Documents obtained from the U.S. Department of Justice detail efforts by then President Donald Trump, his chief of staff and other allies to pressure the department to challenge the 2020 presidential election results, the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee said on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Catherine Evans)
'Highway robbery': Madison Cawthorn raises suspicions by paying inexperienced buddy $127,111 as top staffer
Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) appears to be overpaying an underqualified friend to serve on his congressional staff.
Quarterly disbursement statements show Cawthorn's chief of staff William "Blake" Harp made $31,777.77 in the first quarter of the year, the equivalent of $127,111 annually, despite having no background in government and not much other work experience besides running fireworks stands, reported the Citizen Times.
"One hundred twenty-seven thousand dollars is not exorbitant for a chief," said another Republican legislative staff member. "It's highway robbery for anyone for whom it's their first real job and they bring no discernible skills."
Harp and Cawthorn have known each other since at least 2016, when they were both around 20 years old, and neither has any experience in government until Cawthorn became the youngest member of Congress with his election in November.
"At one level, the Cawthorn chief of staff pay is on the low side for the position," said ethics expert Norman Orstein. "But the vast majority of chiefs have a lot of experience, usually on the Hill, sometimes running campaigns. This one does not fit any usual category, and looks quite suspicious."
'Pure insanity': Leaked emails reveal DOJ officials' horrified reactions to Trump allies' voter fraud claims
Leaked emails obtained by CNN show that former top officials at the Department of Justice reacted with horror after being asked to investigate voter fraud conspiracy theories by former president Donald Trump and his allies.
The emails show that former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue both wanted no part of a White House pressure campaign to use the department to investigate wild voter fraud conspiracy theories, including entirely baseless claims about Italy using satellites to change Trump supporters' votes.
In fact, the emails show that then-Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows sent Rosen a YouTube video outlining Italy's purported satellite plot. Rosen, in turn, forwarded it to Donoghue, who simply called it "pure insanity."
Rosen also slapped away a Meadows request for the Justice Department to review purported signature match anomalies in Georgia.
"Can you believe this?" Rosen wrote to Donoghue about Meadows' request. "I am not going to respond to the message below."
The emails also show that Rosen pointedly refused to meet with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who relentlessly pushed false claims about Dominion Voting Systems rigging the election for President Joe Biden.
"I flatly refused, said I would not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his 'witnesses,' and re-affirmed yet again that I will not talk to Giuliani about any of this," Rosen wrote in one email after being asked to meet with Giuliani.
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