5 takeaways from the Jan. 6 hearing on Trump’s Justice Dept. plot

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The Jan. 6 committee on Thursday held its fifth major hearing, this one focused on President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on the Justice Department to help him overturn the election.

The plot was spearheaded within the department by an official named Jeffrey Clark, whose home federal agents searched Wednesday in a significant development that reflects the increasing legal jeopardy faced by Trump’s allies and perhaps Trump himself. Trump at one point considered installing Clark as acting attorney general to further the plot — which prompted mass resignation threats.

Timeline: Trump’s pressure on the Justice Department to overturn the election

Below, some takeaways from the hearing.

1. The pardon picture, filled out

In a video presented on June 23, Trump White House officials said that at least five House Republicans asked President Donald Trump for pardons. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

The committee has repeatedly previewed evidence that certain key players in Trump’s plot sought pardons. Last week, one of them was revealed to be Trump lawyer John Eastman, who asked to be put on “the pardon list.” The implication from that email was that there was indeed a list that seemingly might have other names.

The committee built out its own list Thursday, adding several House Republicans to it. Here are the names and the evidence:

  • Reps. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — In a Jan. 11 email from Brooks, he said he and Gaetz were suggesting pardons for everyone who objected to the election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. White House lawyer Eric Herschmann also said he believed that Gaetz had requested a pardon. White House aide John McEntee said Gaetz told him he asked for one from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Meadows, also testified to the effort by Brooks and Gaetz, saying that Gaetz had been seeking a pardon “since early December” and that he reached out to her personally.
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) — Hutchinson testified that he requested a pardon.
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) — Hutchinson testified that he requested a pardon.
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — Hutchinson said that she had heard that Greene had asked the White House counsel’s office for a pardon from deputy counsel Pat Philbin but that Greene hadn’t asked her personally.
  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) — Hutchinson testified that he requested a pardon.

Perry has flatly denied seeking a pardon, calling it “a shameless, soulless lie,” but Hutchinson said he talked to her directly about it.

Hutchinson also said that Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), whom House Republicans tried to put on the committee before Democrats objected, talked with the White House about congressional pardons but that she was unaware…

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