Jan. 6 hearing updates: Trump tried to pressure the DOJ. Lawmakers who helped him sought pardons

Published June 23, 2022 at 1:59 PM EDT
Men sit in a semi-circle in front of Donald Trump in the Oval Office. The caption reads, "Why don't you guys seize machines?"
Brendan Smialowski
AFP via Getty Images
Former President Donald Trump appears onscreen at a meeting with Justice Department officials during Thursday's hearing of the House Jan. 6 committee.

The Justice Department is not supposed to do the personal political bidding of the president, but that's exactly what Donald Trump asked it to do, according to testimony presented today. Several former Department of Justice officials described pushing back hard on Trump's baseless election fraud claims.

And multiple GOP congressmen who voted to reject the electoral college submissions asked the White House for pardons, before and after Jan. 6.

Here's what else we're following:

  • A tense and heated meeting at the White House: Witnesses revealed dramatic details about a Jan. 3, 2021, meeting in which top Justice Department officials banded together to prevent Jeffrey Clark, an environmental lawyer at the DOJ, from being named the replacement to Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.
  • Trump leaned hard on DOJ officials on phony voting fraud claims: At one point, Trump told acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, “Just say it was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican congressmen," according to Donoghue.
  • The panel hears from a filmmaker: British documentarian Alex Holder said he testified behind closed doors with the Jan. 6 committee on Thursday morning. Holder filmed the former president, his family and aides for weeks around the 2020 election and interviewed them even beyond the Jan. 6 insurrection.