The Trump administration’s pressure campaign on the DOJ to overturn the election was a grave attack on our democracy, and the public should know how the Office of Legal Counsel responded. CREW is suing the DOJ for all OLC memos, opinions, and records that indicate DOJ involvement or interference in the 2020 election, following their failure to turn over any records responsive to a FOIA request filed in August.
Then-President Trump and his chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly pressured Attorney General Bill Barr and his successor Jeffrey Rosen to launch frivolous and baseless investigations into the 2020 election, advancing election conspiracy theories that would ultimately incite the January 6th insurrection. Trump’s refusal to accept the election results ultimately led Barr to resign, and the installation of a new AG in the final days of the Trump administration only intensified the pressure campaign on the DOJ.
Since DOJ policy dictates that it is supposed to defer oversight of the election process to the states, any OLC opinions provided to Barr or Rosen on the legality of DOJ interference or investigation into elections would shed light on the extent of undue influence Trump had on the DOJ. The DOJ should not have conducted investigations to advance Trump’s personal agenda or be pressured in any way to do so, and OLC records would shed light on the DOJ’s response to the Trump White House’s pressure campaign.
October 8, 2021