Donald Trump 'Not Fit… To Be in This Country': U.S. Supreme Court Lawyer

An attorney who has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court said that former President Donald Trump is not only unfit to be president, but he's unfit "to be in this country."

Former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal told MSNBC's Deadline White House on Thursday that the fifth day of hearings by the House Select Committee investigating January 6, 2021, had painted a picture of Trump as a "third-rate dictator."

The committee heard from former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue on Thursday, who alleged Trump had pressured the Department of Justice (DOJ) to declare the 2020 presidential election "corrupt."

MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace asked Katyal for his reaction to the testimony on the fifth day of hearings.

Katyal said that Donoghue's testimony was "the soul of the Justice Department. It's not political," and pointed out that he had personally worked for two attorneys general who pursued both Republicans and Democrats and "didn't protect their friends."

Katyal has a long association with the DOJ and was acting solicitor general from 2010 to 2011. He has also frequently argued before the Supreme Court, including as co-counsel for former Vice President Al Gore in the well-known 2000 election case Bush v. Gore.

"You asked about my emotional reaction," Katyal told Wallace. "Donald Trump is not fit, not only to be in this country - not only to be president of this country, but even to be in this country."

"The picture today was a third-rate dictator somewhere else," he went on. "That's the way justice departments and presidents in foreign countries behave, the way that Trump did, not the way our Justice Department did."

"Regardless of what you think about various presidents - Bush, Reagan, Clinton - nobody, nobody treated the Justice Department this way and nobody put anyone in the Justice Department like Jeffrey Clark, who would do that kind of bidding."

Katyal was referring to testimony at Thursday's hearing about a White House meeting in December 2020, at which Trump reportedly considered firing Rosen and installing DOJ environmental lawyer Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general.

Clark was allegedly involved in a plan to send a letter to officials in the state of Georgia containing claims about election fraud and urging the legislature to convene to consider appointing a new slate of electors.

On Thursday, the select committee also showed some handwritten notes Donoghue had made during his conversations with Trump about the 2020 election.

Those notes indicate that when DOJ officials told Trump they could not alter the election results, Trump responded: "Don't expect you to do that, just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen."

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger asked Donoghue to confirm that that comment was a direct quote from the former president.

"That's an exact quote from the president, yes," Donoghue said.

Former President Trump has previously denied that he urged the DOJ to call the 2020 election "corrupt."

Newsweek has asked former President Trump's office for comment.

Donald Trump and Neal Katyal
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the American Freedom Tour at the Austin Convention Center on May 14, 2022 (L). Neal Katyal, former acting solicitor general of the U.S., speaks onstage during 'Legend Has It: Activism and Influence in the Age of Trump' at Vanity Fair's 6th Annual New Establishment Summit at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on October 22, 2019. Katyal has said Trump is "not fit" to be in the U.S. Getty