Trump made a public spectacle of claiming the 2020 election was rigged or that mass voter fraud delivered the White House to Joe Biden, but his closest staff evidently went much further down a rabbit hole than Trump himself did in public.
The House Oversight Committee has obtained and released emails showing that Trump and his staff pressured the Justice Department to get involved in the legal effort to change the outcome of the election. And that's scandalous enough all on its own, but these emails also tell just how batshit crazy that effort was.
Trump's former chief of staff Mark Meadows took his conspiracy theories directly to former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen who reacted in the same manner that any relatively normal person would.
The emails showed that Meadows asked Justice Department officials to investigate an unfounded conspiracy theory called "Italygate" alleging that U.S. electoral data was changed in Italian facilities with the knowledge of the CIA.
On Jan. 1, Meadows sent Rosen a link to a YouTube video detailing the theory. Rosen forwarded the email to then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, who replied: "Pure insanity." [...]
"I flatly refused, said I would not be giving any special treatment to Giuliani or any of his 'witnesses,' and re-affirmed yet again that I will not talk to Giuliani about any of this," Rosen wrote to a Justice Department colleague on Jan. 1.
When I first read this report, I maniacally cackled, of course, but then I sat here in stunned silence for a while after it truly sank in that these were the people running our government for four years.
Trump and his staff were literally your elder relatives forwarding chain emails to you. Or to the attorney general, as it were.
It's amazing this country survived Trump.