To advance its legislative agenda, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary conducts regular oversight
Regular agency oversight hearings were the norm under the Obama Administration, a tradition which Senator Durbin restored. In 2021, Durbin held the Committee’s first Department of Justice (DOJ) oversight hearing since 2017 and the first Department of Homeland Security (DHS) oversight hearing since 2018 —the lone times the Committee held oversight hearings on these two critical agencies during the Trump Administration.
In October 2021, following an eight-month investigation, Chair Durbin released new testimony and an interim staff report, “Subverting Justice: How the Former President and his Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election.” The report and testimony revealed that we were only a half-step away from a full blown constitutional crisis as then-President Trump and his loyalists threatened a wholesale takeover of the Justice Department. The report shed new light on Trump’s relentless efforts to coopt DOJ into overturning the 2020 election—the first comprehensive accounting of those efforts.
Key takeaways from the Committee’s investigation include:
In January 2021, following a report from The New York Times that detailed a plot between Trump and Clark to use DOJ to further Trump’s efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election, Durbin led the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in a letter to then-Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson calling on him to preserve and produce all relevant materials in the DOJ’s possession, custody, or control related to this plot. This kicked off the Committee’s eight-month investigation. The Committee continues to seek records requested from the National Archives and Records Administration, which have not yet been supplied, and continues to pursue interviews with relevant individuals as part of this ongoing investigation.
A link to the transcripts of the Committee’s closed-door interviews with former Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen, former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, and former U.S. Attorney BJay Pak is available here.