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Jan. 6 hearing to highlight Trump’s pressure on DOJ and plan to interchange attorney general

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Barr says he shudders to think what would have happened to U.S. if he didn’t beat back on Trump election fraud claims

Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is seen on video during his deposition for the general public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 9, 2022. 

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, told the committee that he was glad to have been within the position to have the opportunity to say that he “didn’t think there was fraud” within the 2020 election.

That “was really vital to moving things forward,” Barr told investigators in an interview clip that played in the course of the hearing.

He said he shudders to think about what would have happened had DOJ not conducted it’s own investigation. “I’m undecided we might have had a transition in any respect,” he said.

— Kevin Breuninger

Clark letter to Georgia legislature described as ‘murder-suicide pact’

A video former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue speaking is shown on a screen in the course of the fifth public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 23, 2022. 

Jim Bourg | Reuters

Clark co-wrote a December 2020 letter he planned to send to Georgia’s legislature, claiming that the DOJ found “significant concerns” which will have affected the election consequence.

The letter’s claims were a “lie,” Cheney said after displaying a screenshot of the letter. Clark had no evidence of widespread election fraud that might have tipped the consequence of the race, but he knew what Trump wanted him to do, Cheney said.

Had the letter been released on DOJ letterhead, “it will have falsely informed all Americans … that President Trump’s election fraud allegations were likely very real,” Cheney said.

Former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue said White House counsel Pat Cipollone told him: “You realize, that letter that this guy desires to send, that letter is a murder-suicide pact, it’ll damage everyone who touches it.”

— Kevin Breuninger

‘There’s far more to return’ from Jan. 6 probe, Cheney says

Committee Vice Chair U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) gives her opening statement in the course of the public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 9, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said the committee has far more evidence to disclose in its investigation into the Capitol riot.

“Our committee has just begun to indicate America the evidence that now we have gathered,” Cheney said in her opening remarks.

“There’s far more to return, each in our hearings and in our report,” Cheney said.

— Kevin Breuninger

Trump wanted DOJ to ‘help legitimize his lies,’ Thompson says

Former President Donald Trump appears on screen in the course of the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January sixth Attack on the US Capitol within the Cannon House Office Constructing on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Trump wanted the Department of Justice to actively aid in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, Thompson said at the beginning of the hearing.

“Trump didn’t just want the Justice Department to research. He wanted the Justice Department to assist legitimize his election lies. To baselessly call the election corrupt. To appoint a special counsel to research alleged election fraud. To send a letter to 6 state legislatures urging them to contemplate altering the election results,” Thompson said.

When these efforts failed, Trump sought to interchange then-acting Attorney General Rosen with Clark, he said.

— Kevin Breuninger

Federal agents reportedly searched home of Jeffrey Clark, ex-DOJ official tied to Trump’s election efforts

Jeff Clark, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, speaks during a news conference on the Justice Department in Washington, September 14, 2020.

Susan Walsh | AFP | Getty Images

Federal agents on Wednesday morning searched the Virginia residence of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, multiple news outlets reported.

Clark, a former environmental lawyer on the Justice Department, played a public role in Trump’s try and overturn the 2020 election. The committee plans to look at his involvement during its hearing Thursday afternoon. The panel plans to indicate how Trump desired to install Clark as acting attorney general as a part of his plan to overturn Biden’s victory within the 2020 election.

ABC News, which reported earlier Thursday the activity at Clark’s Lorton, Virginia, home, cited a neighbor who said they saw FBI agents entering and exiting the residence.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., told NBC News that it “can confirm there was law enforcement activity in that area yesterday.” The spokesperson declined to supply further detail.

Spokespeople for the DOJ, FBI, and choose committee didn’t immediately reply to CNBC’s requests for comment on the reported search.

— Kevin Breuninger

Hearing will have a look at Trump’s presidential pardons, chairman said

US Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot speaks during a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January sixth Attack on the US Capitol, within the Cannon House Office Constructing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13, 2022.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said late Wednesday that the fifth public hearing will include “some conversations about pardons.”

Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., noted in a previous hearing that “multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for his or her roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

She called out Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., who allegedly tried to get pro-Trump DOJ official Clark installed as acting attorney general, and has refused to testify before the committee.

Thompson on Wednesday night declined to call every other pardon-seeking lawmakers. “You will need to come to the hearing,” he told reporters.

Thompson also said the committee may hold greater than the seven hearings that were originally announced. “We are able to do eight, nine or ten. Rather a lot just depends upon what we give you,” he said.

— Kevin Breuninger

GOP Rep. Kinzinger details death threats against him and his family

U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) participates on the opening public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 9, 2022.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one among two Republicans on the select committee, said that threats and harassment targeted at him, his family and other members of the panel are “constant” and have been increasing.

Kinzinger on Sunday posted a screenshot on Twitter showing a handwritten death threat, which the congressman said was “Addressed to my wife, sent to my home, threatening the lifetime of my family.”

“The Darkness is spreading courtesy of cowardly leaders afraid of truth,” Kinzinger tweeted.

Kinzinger told CNN on Wednesday that he received one other message “last night, threatening execution,” saying that it now appears to be “the conventional thing.”

The congressman’s participation within the Jan. 6 investigation and regular criticism of Trump have made him a pariah amongst many Republicans. He said he shared the death threat to indicate the “depravity” swirling across the politically charged probe, decrying “that there are folks that literally would give you this concept of killing a five-month-old since you disagree with me being on the January 6 committee.”

“We now have security, we have amped up our security posture,” Kinzinger said. “We will move on, and it isn’t going to hinder us and it isn’t going to intimidate us.”

— Kevin Breuninger

Committee has pushed back several hearings

This afternoon’s hearing on the DOJ was originally scheduled for last week, however it was postponed with no clear explanation.

On Wednesday, the committee announced that it was also pushing back its final two public hearings from June to July.

Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., suggested Wednesday that recent evidence received by the committee prompted the scheduling changes. A select committee aide told CNBC that the panel “continues to receive additional evidence relevant to our investigation” into the Capitol riot, and that it’s going to announce dates and times for the ultimate hearings “soon.”

That recent evidence reportedly includes never-before-seen documentary footage from a filmmaker who had access to Trump and his family before and after the riot. The investigators also proceed to hunt cooperation from key witnesses, including former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

— Kevin Breuninger

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