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The Trump administration pushed the Attorney General to investigate a bizarre conspiracy theory that Biden used Italian satellites to steal the election

Business Insider logo Business Insider 6/16/2021 tcolson@businessinsider.com (Thomas Colson)
a close up of a man wearing a suit and tie: Former President Donald Trump Getty © Getty Former President Donald Trump Getty
  • Trump's White House pushed a bizarre election fraud conspiracy theory involving Italian satellites.
  • Trump's chief of staff pressed officials to investigate baseless claims of election fraud.
  • One Department of Justice official branded the conspiracy theory "pure insanity."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Donald Trump's administration pushed for an investigation into a bizarre conspiracy theory that President Joe Biden used Italian satellites to steal the 2020 election, emails released by House lawmakers this week revealed.

The tranche of emails obtained by the House Oversight Committee detail repeated attempts by Trump officials to make the Department of Justice investigate baseless claims of election fraud in an attempt to overturn Biden's election victory - a move that leaders of the department ultimately rejected.

The documents show that Mark Meadows, who was Trump's chief of staff, tried at least five times to pressure Department of Justice officials to investigate various conspiracy theories which suggested the election had been stolen from Trump.

On December 30, Meadows emailed then-acting United States attorney general Jeffrey Rosen details of an alleged plot by which American electoral data was manipulated in Italian facilities.

The email was a translation of a document from a person in Italy who claimed to have "direct knowledge" of the plot.

The person said that US electoral data had been manipulated in Italian facilities in coordination with US intelligence officials from the CIA then loaded onto "military satellites."

They claimed that the true data revealed that Trump was "clearly" the winner of the election, a position they claimed was confirmed by sources within the Italian secret service.

On January 1, Meadows again emailed Rosen about the plot, providing a link to a YouTube video that referenced the conspiracy theory. Rosen forwarded the email to then-acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue, who replied: "Pure insanity."

Meadows and Rosen ultimately decided not to investigate the claims of election fraud

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, said the documents showed that "President Trump tried to corrupt our nation's chief law enforcement agency in a brazen attempt to overturn an election that he lost.

"Those who aided or witnessed President Trump's unlawful actions must answer the Committee's questions about this attempted subversion of democracy," she said.

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