DOJ officials rejected colleague's request to intervene in Georgia's election certification: Emails

Top DOJ officials rejected a colleague's request last year to urge Georgia officials to possibly overturn President Joe Biden's victory in the state, emails show.

8/4/2021 2:16:00 AM

Top DOJ officials rejected a colleague's request last year to urge Georgia officials to possibly overturn Pres. Biden's victory in the state, emails reviewed by ABC News show.

Top DOJ officials rejected a colleague's request last year to urge Georgia officials to possibly overturn President Joe Biden's victory in the state, emails show.

But to date, the Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that would tip the results of the presidential election. Attorney General William Barr also announced in December that the department had"not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome of the election." A

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statewide auditin Georgia last year also affirmed that Biden was the winner.The emails were provided by the DOJ to the House Oversight Committee, which is investigating efforts to overturn the election results. And they come as the DOJ investigator general looks at whether any officials in the department sought to overturn the outcome of the election.

Last week the Department of Justice sent letters to six former Trump DOJ officials telling them that they can participate in Congress' investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. One of those letters was to former Associate Deputy AG Patrick Hovakimian, who sources said sat for a transcribed interview Tuesday morning with the House Oversight Committee.

Notes from Donoghuereleasedlast week appeared to show that Trump tried to pressure the DOJ to assert that there was significant fraud in the election.ABC News has requested comment from Clark but has not yet received a response. A spokesperson for the House Oversight Committee did not immediately respond to request for comment, nor did an attorney for Donoghue.

Jessica Mcgowan/Getty Images, FILEA Gwinnett county voter casts a ballot at Lucky Shoals Park polling station on Nov. 3, 2020, in Norcross, Georgia.Clark attached the draft letter in an email to Rosen and Donoghue telling them"I think we should get it out as soon as possible."

"Personally, I see no valid downsides to sending out the letter," Clark wrote."I put it together quickly and would want to do a formal cite check before sending but I don't think we should let unnecessary moss grow on this."Clark separately asked for Rosen and Donoghue to authorize them to receive a classified briefing led by then-Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe the next day related to"foreign election interference issues," while referencing an unspecified theory about hackers having evidence that a Dominion voting machine"accessed the Internet through a smart thermostat with a net connection trail leading back to China."

Donoghue responded a little more than an hour later shooting down Clark's request to sign on to the draft letter."There is no chance that I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this," Donoghue said."While it maybe true that the Department 'is investigating various irregularities in the 2020 election for President' (something we typically would not state publicly) the investigations that I am aware of relate to suspicions of misconduct that are of such a small scale that they simply would not impact the outcome of the Presidential Election."

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Donoghue closed his email response by stating that, while he was available to speak to Clark directly about his request,"from where I stand, this is not even within the realm of possibility."MORE: Newly released notes show Trump pressured DOJ to declare election was 'corrupt'

Donoghue cited former Attorney General William Barr's previous statements that the department had no indication fraud had impacted the election to a significant degree, and that no information had surfaced since Barr's departure that changed that assessment.

"Given that," he said,"I cannot imagine a scenario in which the Department would recommend that a State assemble its legislature to determine whether already-certified election results should somehow be overriden by legislative action."

He added that the draft letter's statement that DOJ would update lawmakers on the investigatory progress was"dubious as we do not typically update non-law enforcement personnel on the progress of any investigations."Later that evening, Rosen responded as well, telling both Clark and Donoghue,"I confirmed again today that I am not prepared to sign such a letter."

The New York Times reported in January about Clark appealing to Donoghue and Rosen to co-sign the draft letter. Read more: ABC News »

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Why is Clark not under arrest?

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