Former acting AG testifies before panel probing election interference

Former acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen sat for hours of congressional testimony on Saturday, reportedly testifying on former President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE’s efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 election.

Rosen was interviewed by staff members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, lawmakers on the panel confirmed. The committee is probing efforts by Trump allies to interfere in the 2020 election results.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the committee, told reporters that he sat through the interview on Saturday.

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“I was struck by how close the country came to total catastrophe,” Blumenthal said, adding that there were some “highly significant leads” that the panel should pursue.

“Of course, the chairman is the one to decide, but there were some highly significant leads that unquestionably the Judiciary Committee should pursue,” he added.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick DurbinDick DurbinGOP blocks debt limit hike, government funding The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats stare down 'hell' week Biden sidesteps GOP on judicial vacancies, for now MORE (D-Ill.) said in an interview this week that the panel is looking at "what happened in those days after the November election and before President BidenJoe BidenFord to bolster electric vehicle production in multi-billion dollar push Protesters demonstrate outside Manchin's houseboat over opposition to reconciliation package Alabama eyes using pandemic relief funds on prison system MORE was sworn in."

"There was a lot of activity by Trump personally and by those supporting him to try to put pressure on the Department of Justice [DOJ] to back up his whacky 'big lie' theories," Durbin said on MSNBC, adding that the Judiciary panel wanted to make a "record" of who helped or opposed Trump's efforts.

News of Rosen's testimony Saturday was first reported by The New York Times, which also reported that Rosen spoke with the Justice Department inspector general's office on Friday and reached out to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz directly and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.

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Rosen told the inspector general's office about five encounters with Jeffrey Clark, who served as acting head of the DOJ's civil division under Trump. During one encounter, Clark admitted to meeting Trump and promised to not do so again, the Times reported.

Rosen also reportedly testified that Clark engaged in unauthorized conversations with Trump about publicly casting doubt on the election results in several key battleground states such as Georgia.

The Times reported that Rosen additionally said Clark asked him to send a letter to Georgia legislators asking them to void the election results, saying the DOJ was looking into claims of voter fraud.

The Hill has reached out to the DOJ for comment. Rosen and Clark didn’t respond to the Time’s request for comment.

The investigations came after the newspaper reported in January that Trump sought to replace Rosen with Clark in a bid to pressure politicians to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, a state that Biden narrowly won.

Late last month, the House Oversight and Reform Committee released notes from a Dec. 27 meeting taken by Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, during which Trump allegedly said, “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me.”