National Security

Former DOJ official labels Trump allies ‘malevolent nincompoops’ over fake elector scheme

Former Department of Justice (DOJ) official and federal prosecutor David Laufman on Wednesday called Trump allies who plotted to overturn the 2020 presidential election “malevolent nincompoops” and said the DOJ “is going hard” in its investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

“They knew this was a big lie. They knew this was a fraudulent scheme that they were seeking to perpetrate against the United States government,” Laufman said on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday. “They’re nincompoops, but they’re malevolent nincompoops.” 

A New York Times report published Tuesday released emails in which Trump campaign aides and advisers talk about finding “fake” votes, acknowledging their own efforts to manipulate the election results. The team was reportedly gathering electors who would help Trump reverse his battleground state losses to President Biden.

Laufman called the senders “the Four Seasons Landscaping gang of email-ers,” referring to a 2020 incident in which Trump announced a press conference would be held at the Philadelphia Four Seasons, but held it instead at a similarly-named local landscaping business, located next to a sex shop and a jail.

“From yesterday’s reporting, we now know that the Department of Justice is going hard. They’re going directly at Donald Trump. They’re asking witnesses specific questions about statements that came from Donald Trump’s mouth, what direction he gave to others,” Laufman said.

Members of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol have been pressuring the DOJ to criminally investigate the former president for his role in the violence, saying evidence brought before the panel shows what the panel’s Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) called “a supreme dereliction of duty.”

The DOJ’s latest moves, like certain phone record subpoenas and comments from Attorney General Merrick Garland that “no one is above the law,” suggest the department may be homing in more closely on Trump and his actions around the Jan. 6 riots and the efforts to challenge 2020 election results.

“He is the hub of this spoke,” Laufman said Wednesday. “All roads lead to Donald Trump in this investigation.”

Tags attorney general Biden David Laufman Department of Justice Department of Justice Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump Four Seasons Landscaping House select Jan. 6 committee investigation Jan. 6 House committee Liz Cheney Merrick Garland New York Times Trump campaign
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