The ethics watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) on Thursday asked the Department of Justice to investigate former President Donald Trump and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows over their efforts to get DOJ officials to support Trump’s baseless claims of 2020 election fraud.
CREW alleges Trump and Meadows “illegally pressured” senior DOJ officials, which comes after CREW filed a complaint taking aim at Trump’s entreaties to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes he needed to win the state.
The group cites emails released last month by the House Oversight Committee showing how White House staff, including Meadows, repeatedly pushed then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and other DOJ officials to pursue election conspiracies.
Trump and Meadows are alleged to have violated Section 241 of U.S. criminal code, which makes it a crime to conspire to “injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person” in the “free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege” granted by the Constitution – in this case, the right to vote.
CREW also cites criminal provisions of the Hatch Act, which prohibits using government resources for partisan purposes, pointing to Trump reportedly putting pressure on a federal prosecutor to resign and attempting to fire Rosen, and his use of White House staff and emails to pressure DOJ officials.
Forbes has reached out to Trump, Meadows and the DOJ for comment.
“Government officials who try to subvert our republic and undermine democratic rule must be held accountable to the full extent of the criminal law,” CREW President Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.
Trump made several attempts to overturn the 2020 election while repeatedly claiming, without evidence, t