Justice Department Inspector General Probing Donald Trump’s Scheme to Oust Acting Attorney General
The Justice Department’s Inspector General announced on Monday that he is launching an investigation into an “improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election,” following a blockbuster report in Friday’s New York Times which revealed that former President Donald Trump plotted with an attorney in the Department of Justice to oust Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen in order to overturn the vote count in Georgia.
“The investigation will encompass all relevant allegations that may arise that are within the scope of the OIG’s jurisdiction,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said.
“The OIG has jurisdiction to investigate allegations concerning the conduct of former and current DOJ employees,” Horowitz added. “The OIG’s jurisdiction does not extend to allegations against other government officials.”
On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) demanded that the Justice Department look into “into this attempted sedition,” adding that it was “unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people’s will.”
According to The Times, “the unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians.”
But “because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark.”
Clark would then have petitioned Congress to stop its certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College, which was temporarily disrupted during the Trump-led siege on the United States Capitol on January 6th.
Trump’s desperate gambit quickly fizzled after Justice Department officials caught wind of the scheme and threatened to resign en masse:
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 bizarre 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 Clark plan, the officials concluded, would seriously harm the department, the government, and the rule of law. For hours, they anxiously messaged and called one another as they awaited Mr. Rosen’s fate.
Trump was impeached on January 13th for inciting an insurrection. His Senate trial begins on Tuesday, February 9th.