Legal expert breaks down new bombshell evidence of Trump crimes in Senate report
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young

The Senate Judiciary Committee's interim report on Donald Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss offers clear and abundant evidence of criminal wrongdoing, according to one legal expert.

The interim report, titled "Subverting Justice," outlines how the former president and his allies pressured the Department of Justice to overturn the 2020 election, and law professor Ryan Goodman explained how the findings so far portray a violation of the Political Coercion Act, which prohibits the use of threats or intimidation to benefit a political candidate.

"This prescient analysis helps frame key criminal law issue at hand, the Political Coercion Act 18 USC 610," Goodman tweeted.

The report found that a lower-ranking Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, pressed acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue to send a letter he'd written to Georgia officials filled with debunked claims of election fraud, and the Jan. 2 meeting became heated.

"I reminded [Clark] that I was his boss, that he was apparently continuing to violate the White House contact policy, that that letter was never going out while we were in charge of the Department," Donoghue said. "And I sort of orally reprimanded him on a number of points, including reaching out to witnesses, and [said] 'Who told you to conduct investigations and interview witnesses,' and things like that. It was getting very heated. And then he turned to Acting AG Rosen, and he said, 'Well, the President has offered me the position of Acting Attorney General. I told him I would let him know my decision on Monday. I need to think about that a little bit more.'"

Rosen told Senate investigators that he felt Clark was trying to coerce him into sending the corrupt letter by threatening to take his job on Trump's order.

"Close to that," Rosen said. "That he was saying that having done some due diligence as he requested, that he wasn't satisfied that Rich Donoghue and I were on this, but that he still wasn't sure what his answer would be on it. And he raised another thing that he might point to, that he might be able to say no [to the President], is if – that letter, if I reversed my position on the letter, which I was unwilling to do."

The committee's investigation found that Trump made the same threat himself on Dec. 31 to Rosen and Donoghue by threatening to fire and replace them with Clark, and the report notes that White House chief of staff was present at the Oval Office meeting -- making him a key witness to one of the ex-president's most corrupt acts.

"Bombshell in Dec. 27 call with Trump and Rosen-Donoghue ('just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me') was Trump's threat to fire and replace them with Clark," Goodman tweeted. "Was unclear if Meadows was on that call. Now clear Meadows was in similar New Year's Eve meeting."

The Republican minority's report points out that Trump didn't carry through in his threat to fire Rosen, which the interim report notes came after senior Justice Department officials and White House counsel Pat Cipollone threatened to resign en masse, but Goodman argued the former president already took one step in that direction.

"Before backing down," Goodman wrote, "looks like Trump did first take an affirmative step — an overt action — in furtherance of the scheme (to use the language of criminal conspiracy): Trump offered Clark to install him as acting attorney general and Clark accepted."

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