The Jan. 6 committee heard Thursday from former Justice Department officials who faced down a relentless pressure campaign from Donald Trump over the 2020 presidential election results while suppressing a bizarre challenge from within their own ranks.
The hearing brought attention to a memorably turbulent stretch at the department as Trump in his final days in office sought to bend to his will a law enforcement agency that has long cherished its independence from the White House. The testimony was aimed at showing that Trump not only relied on outside advisers to press his false claims of election fraud but also tried to leverage the powers of federal executive branch agencies.
The witnesses included Jeffrey Rosen, who was acting attorney general during the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. Three days earlier, Rosen was part of a tense Oval Office showdown in which Trump contemplated replacing him with a lower-level official, Jeffrey Clark, who wanted to champion Trump's bogus election fraud claims.
Clark's name was referenced early in the hearing, with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, deriding him as a lawyer whose sole qualification was his fealty to Trump.
“Who is Jeff Clark?” Kinzinger asked rhetorically. "He would do whatever the president wanted him to do, including overthrowing a free and fair democratic election.”
This is a live update. Click here for complete coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings.