Friday, 05 March, 2021

North America / Trump considered replacing AG over election results

Donald Trump boards Air Force One to depart Washington D.C. on Jan. 20 2021 Donald Trump boards Air Force One to depart Washington D.C. on Jan. 20 2021
Deanna Wagner | 23 January, 2021, 22:56

The New York Times reported Friday that former President Donald Trump allegedly planned with a Justice Department lawyer to oust acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and replace him with an official more inclined to investigate claims of election fraud.

Top leaders at the Justice Department threatened to resign if Rosen was sacked, which forced Trump to abandon the idea, but not before Clark and Rosen made their opposing arguments to Trump, the newspaper reported.

When Trump said on Dec 14 that Attorney General William Barr was leaving the department, some officials thought that he might allow Rosen a short reprieve before pressing him about voter fraud. Then Clark began pressuring Rosen and others to do more on voter fraud - such as holding a news conference to announce they were investigating serious allegations, or taking particular steps in Georgia - though Rosen refused.

He also insisted that the accounts, brought forth by four former members of the Trump Administration who spoke on condition of anonymity, were false.

"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. Mr. Trump's decision came only after Mr. Rosen and Mr. Clark made their competing cases to him in a freakish 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", the report stated.

"The Senate will conduct a trial", Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor of the chamber, adding that Senators would "have to decide if they believe Donald John Trump incited the erection" against the United States. "The effort to oust Rosen & install Clark to flip GA was part and parcel of the attempted coup that climaxed in Trump's incitement of the January 6 insurrection".

Jeffrey Bossert Clark
Jeffrey Bossert Clark

Trump declined to comment. "My practice is to rely on sworn testimony to assess disputed factual claims", Mr. Clark said. "Observing legal privileges, which I will adhere to even if others will not, prevent me from divulging specifics regarding the conversation".

"There was a candid discussion of options and pros and cons with the president", Clark told the newspaper. "Any assertion to the contrary is false and being driven by those who wish to keep the system broken".

An adviser told the paper that Trump has consistently argued that the justice system should investigate 'rampant election fraud that has plagued our system for years'. This is the second impeachment Trump faced in his four years in office. Unbeknown to them, a Pennsylvania politician had connected Trump with Clark, who told the then-President he agreed that fraud had tainted the election results, according to the Times.

Barr's statements angered Trump, who, along with his allies, had been waging a public campaign to get Barr to appoint a special counsel to investigate election fraud. Cipollone ultimately convinced Trump it would be unwise to fire Rosen. It was theoretically possible that, if Clark were installed, he could push for some type of challenge to the election results.

Trump also targeted the U.S. Attorney covering Atlanta, Georgia, Byung Pak, for his failure to support his campaign's attempts to dismiss or de-certify that state's vote count. He declared that the department was not fighting hard enough for him.

Rosen, Donoghue, and Clark met with Trump, Cipollone, and his deputy Patrick Philbin.

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