President Biden’s tour of Europe is mainly one to repair and remove some of the debris left by the ravages of the Trump administration, particularly as it pertains to NATO. During his stop in Brussels, Biden wanted all of Europe “to know the United States was there.” Patching up Trump’s mess is a Herculean task, and more of it surfaced recently with the disclosure that his staff began sending emails to the Justice Department to support his claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Jeffrey Rosen had not even assumed the role of acting attorney general when the barrage of emails arrived at his office, according to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. All of this comes as a hearing begins to investigate the causes of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
The election returns in Antrim County, Michigan, the emails to the Committee noted, were the centerpiece to Trump’s allegations where the voting machines were “intentionally and purposefully” calibrated to create fraudulent results as well as “talking points” that could counter any arguments “against us.” Trump’s document to Rosen read: “We believe it has happened everywhere.”
While this was going on behind the scene, Trump was on the stump massaging his base with vociferous claims of fraud, none of which proved to have any validity but was believed by his supporters who stormed the Capitol Building.
A continuing probe of the tumult at the Capitol on Tuesday will focus on the military and law enforcement responses to the attack.
Gen. Charles E. Flynn and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, who served as the director and the deputy director of the Army staff on the day of the upheaval, are scheduled to deliver the initial congressional testimony before the Committee. Each was involved in the decision whether the National Guard should be deployed to assist the Capitol Police and other agencies there to control the massive crowd.
Former Capitol Police chief Steven A. Sund, in testimony before a joint Senate panel investigating the attacks, said Piatt was one of the Pentagon officials who resisted his plea to dispatch the National Guard to the melee. That is sure to be discussed during the House’s probe.
Yogananda Pittman, the acting Capitol Police chief, was invited to appear but could not, citing a scheduling conflict. Apparently, she was slated to testify before the House Committee on Administration, which is examining the same Jan. 6 riot.
Despite a packed agenda, Biden addressed the ongoing probe, stating that the Jan. 6 was “a shock and surprise.” He said it stemmed from President Trump’s “phony populism.”
His comments also included a barb at the Republicans. “It is disappointing that so many of my former colleagues in the Senate, who I know know better, have been reluctant to take on an investigation because they are worried about being primaried,” he said in a press briefing in Brussels.