Trump Reportedly Told Jeffrey Rosen to Call Election 'Corrupt' Days After Barr Resigned

Notes of a December call made by President Donald Trump to senior Justice Department officials, released Friday by the House Oversight Committee, show Trump urged those officials to publicly declare the results of the 2020 election "corrupt."

Handwritten notes from one of the participants in the December 27 conversation demonstrate the lengths Trump went to in an attempt to reverse the results of the election and gain the support of officials in law enforcement and government leadership.

Last month, emails from Trump and his allies in the final weeks of his term in office revealed that they attempted to pressure the Justice Department to look into their unsubstantiated claims of election fraud. The department's inspector general is determining whether department officials made attempts to overturn the results.

"Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen," Trump said at one point to then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to notes taken by Richard Donoghue, a senior Justice Department official who was on the call.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Melissa Carone
Notes of a December call made by then-President Donald Trump reveal that he urged DOJ officials to call the 2020 election results "corrupt." Here, Melissa Carone, who was working for Dominion Voting Services, speaks in front of the Michigan House Oversight Committee in Lansing, Michigan on December 2, 2020. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP/Getty Images

The pressure is all the more notable because just weeks earlier, Trump's own Attorney General William Barr, had declared that the department had found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have overturned the results.

The Dec. 27 call took place just days after Barr had resigned, leaving Rosen in charge of the department during turbulent final weeks of the administration that also included the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in which pro-Trump loyalists stormed the building as Congress was certifying the election results.

"These handwritten notes show that President Trump directly instructed our nation's top law enforcement agency to take steps to overturn a free and fair election in the final days of his presidency," committee chairman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.

She said the committee had begun scheduling interviews with witnesses. The Justice Department earlier this week authorized six witnesses to appear before the panel, citing the public interest in the "extraordinary events" of those final weeks.

Trump Election Fraud
Former President Donald Trump told then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to "leave the rest to me," according to notes from the December call. In this July 24, 2021, file photo, Trump speaks to supporters at a Turning Point Action gathering in Phoenix. Ross D. Franklin, File/AP Photo