The very evidence The New York Times cites to allege Trump told a DOJ official to ‘just say that the election was corrupt’ shows it came in an entirely different portion of the discussion.
On Friday, The New York Times claimed it had obtained the handwritten notes from a post-election meeting between then-President Donald Trump and acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue. Those notes, according to the Times, reveal that when Donoghue “warned that the department had no power to change the outcome of the election,” Trump “replied that he did not expect that.” “‘Just say that the election was corrupt + leave he rest to me’ and to congressional allies,” the Times reported Donoghue’s handwritten notes as stating.
However, a review of the notes from that December 27, 2020 meeting, provided by the Biden administration to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and posted on the latter’s webpage, expose the Times as once again a purveyor of fake news.
While the Times claimed the above exchange occurred during a phone call in which Trump “pressed” Rosen and Donoghue “on voter fraud claims that the department had disproved,” the “just say that the election was corrupt” comment came in an entirely different portion of the discussion, the handwritten notes establish.
That comment followed Donoghue’s assurance that the department would “look at whether there were more ballots in PA than registered voters.” Donoghue’s commitment to investigate this potential fraud came in response to Trump’s earlier assertion that Pennsylvania had only 5 million voters in the state, but there were 5.25 million votes casts.
“Clearly fraud,” the handwritten notes show Trump saying to the two top DOJ officials, while Donoghue added his own commentary, of “possibly true?” in a parenthetical.
Then, after telling Trump the DOJ would look at whether there were more ballots cast in Pennsylvania than registered voters, Donoghue noted they “should be able to check on that quickly but understand that the DOJ can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election, doesn’t work that way.”