In the weeks after Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, his administration drafted a memo calling for anyone who didn’t believe the election was fraudulent to be fired.
The news comes via a new report released by the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, which took the deposition of Trump White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.
In Cipollone’s deposition, which was released Friday, investigators mention a memo drafted by White House staffers in December 2020, a month after Trump lost the election, that ended with: “Anybody that thinks there wasn’t massive fraud in the 2020 election should be fired.”
The draft statement, which was never released, came weeks after former Atty. Gen. Bill Barr pushed back at Trump’s unfounded claims of fraud, publicly stating there was no evidence of voter fraud “that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”
Barr resigned from office after affirming there was no fraud, but Trump continued to tout his false claims.
Trump’s unfounded and increasingly incendiary claims about his election loss have been cited by many of those who stormed the U.S. Capitol in January 2021 while lawmakers gathered to count the Electoral College votes certifying President Joe Biden’s win.
The Capitol riots — which led to the deaths of at least five people, including a Capitol police officer — resulted in the bi-partisan committee investigation, which took the depositions of dozens of former Trump officials.
In June, former acting Atty. Gen. Jeffrey Rosen testified that, when he took on the role after Barr resigned, he faced pressure almost daily to uncover evidence that Biden and Democrats had stolen the 2020 presidential election.
“Between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, the president either called me or met with me virtually every day, with one or two exceptions,” Rosen testified. “The common element of all of [these meetings] was the president expressing his dissatisfaction that the Justice Department had not done enough to investigate election fraud.”
Rosen said that the Justice Department declined all of Trump’s requests for them to declare fraud “because we did not think that they were appropriate based on the facts and the law as we understood them.”
Richard Donoghue, the acting deputy attorney general at the time of the insurrection, testified that he took notes during the contentious period of time preceding the Jan. 6 riots. In one of them, he wrote that Trump told him: “Just say [the election] was corrupt and leave the rest to the Republican congressmen and me.”