The legal world erupted Friday evening following a New York Times bombshell report that earlier this month, then-President Donald Trump tried to replace acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with a sycophantic underling willing to use the power of the U.S. Department of Justice to force Georgia to overturn its election results.
Citing anonymous sources, the outlet states that Trump was about to determine whether to fire Rosen and replace him with Clark, allegedly because the then-acting AG declined to support his claims of election fraud, including launching an investigation into Dominion Voting Systems.
Trump narrowly lost Georgia to Joe Biden in the November presidential election, in a vote he baselessly claimed was rigged. The New York Times says Trump's decision not to sack Rosen "came only after Mr Rosen and Mr Clark made their competing cases to him in a freaky White House meeting that two officials compared with an episode of Mr Trump's reality show The Apprentice, albeit one that could prompt a constitutional crisis".
"Their informal pact ultimately helped persuade Mr. Trump to keep Mr. Rosen in place, calculating that a furor over mass resignations at the top of the Justice Department would eclipse any attention on his baseless accusations of voter fraud".More news: Tom Brady & Drew Brees Share Special Moment After Playoff Matchup
On Jan. 3, it was reported by the Washington Post that Trump had called Georgia Secretary of State, and fellow Republican, Brad Raffensperger, to pressure him into locating more votes for the former president. The notion of department pandemonium, congressional investigations and blowback from fellow Republicans seemed to resonate with Trump, who after almost three hours chose to allow Rosen to stay and determined that Clark's plan would not work, according to the Times. The two had been closely working together to replace Rosen with Clark.
The New York Times, citing interviews with four anonymous former Trump administration officials, describes how Jeffrey Clark, an unassuming lawyer who led the department's civil division, was almost installed as the Acting AG to replace Jeffrey Rosen, who had resisted the President's entreaties to bolster his legal battles and put pressure on state legislatures. "The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked each other: What will you do if Mr. Rosen is dismissed?"
This piece of news has come at a time when Trump has started his post-White House life with a bump in his professional, social and personal life as he is set to face a Senate trial for "incitement of insurrection" for motivating his supporters to carry out riots in the US Capitol.
At the meeting were Trump, Clark and Rosen, along with Richard Donoghue, the acting deputy attorney general; Steven A. Engel, the head of the department's Office of Legal Counsel; and Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, the people familiar with the matter said.More news: IBM (IBM) Q4 2020 Earnings: Key financials and quarterly highlights
'All my official communications were consistent with law'. An adviser said that Trump has consistently argued that the justice system should investigate "rampant election fraud that has plagued our system for years".
Clark reportedly said that this account contained inaccuracies but did not specify which exactly, adding that because of "the strictures of legal privilege", he could not disclose any discussions with Trump or lawyers of the Justice Department. His departure came shortly after breaking with the president by acknowledging that there was no evidence of massive voter fraud that would have changed the outcome. of the election.
Clark did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Clark plan, the officials concluded, would seriously harm the department, the government and the rule of law.More news: Regardless of quality, Cyberpunk 2077 had the biggest digital launch of all
Rosen, Donoghue, and Clark met with Trump, Cipollone, and his deputy Patrick Philbin.