Senate GOP releases post-election report on Trump-Justice Dept, contradicting findings from Dems

Among the findings in the GOP report was Trump did not exert improper influence on Justice Department

Updated: October 7, 2021 - 4:30pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday released their review of President Trump's management of the Justice Department after the 2020 presidential election, concluding the former president's fears about election fraud were based on "legitimate concerns" – one day after Democrats who lead the chamber said their findings show Trump tried to install a loyalist atop the agency to investigate unfounded fraud claims.

The GOP's 140-page review, titled, "In their own words: A factual summary of testimony from senior Justice Department officials related to the events from December 14, 2020, to January 3, 2021" offers starkly different conclusions from those reached by chamber Democrats. 

For example, the report found that Trump's concerns about widespread election fraud having tainted the outcome of the race were also based on "reports of crime." 

The report, released by the committee's top Republican, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, also concluded that based on "available evidence" Trump did not use the department to try to "overturn the election."

"The transcripts of this investigation speak for themselves, and they paint a very different picture from the left's claims that the former president weaponized the Justice Department to alter the election results," Grassley said. "The available evidence shows that President Trump did what we’d expect a president to do on an issue of this importance: He listened to his senior advisers and followed their advice and recommendations."

The chamber Democrats' report also concluded Trump was considering replacing acting Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Justice Department official Jeffery Clark, the apparent loyalist who shared Trump's concerns about election fraud. 

Among the other findings in the GOP report are that Trump:

  • Did not exert improper influence on the department 
  • Had no impact on the department's election activities
  • Had concerns based upon allegations that Richard Pilger, then director of the department's Election Crimes Branch at the Criminal Division, undermined its election-related efforts.
  • Listened to advisers, including high-level Justice officials and White House counsel, and followed their recommendations
  • Twice rejected firing Rosen

The report also concluded that the Justice Department under President Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in last year's election, "interfered in the investigation and prevented a witness from answering questions related to the department's role in investigating election fraud allegations."