Newly-released emails show how top officials in the Trump White House pressured the Justice Department to investigate claims of voter fraud in the hopes of overturning the 2020 presidential election, according to Democrats on the House Oversight Committee who released them.
The emails come ahead of the Committee's hearing on the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, which will take place Tuesday afternoon.
The emails offer an insight into how acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen dealt with pressure from the White House to seek ways to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
According to the emails released by the Oversight Committee, the pressure campaign began before Rosen officially took power.
On Dec. 14, Trump's White House assistant sent an email with the subject "From POTUS" to Rosen, then the Deputy AG, that contained materials alleging voter fraud in Michigan and "talking points" about the allegations. Forty minutes after that email was sent, Trump tweeted that then-Attorney General Bill Barr had resigned.
Barr's resignation came just weeks after he said publicly that he had found no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Other top federal government officials have made similar determinations.
The Committee also says the emails show that the White House pressured Rosen to file a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to nullify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
According to the Committee, the brief sent by the White Hosue to Rosen, Deputy AG Richard Donoghue and Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall demanded that the high court "declare that the Electoral College votes cast in six states that President Trump lost 'cannot be counted,' and requested that the Court order a 'special election' for president in those states."
The Committee's release also indicates that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows pushed the Justice Department to investigate "conspiracy theories" at least five times.
One of those messages included a YouTube link referencing a debunked conspiracy that alleged Italy meddled in the 2020 election.
Rosen forwarded that message to Donahue, calling it "pure insanity."