Former top DOJ official testifies about deputy’s efforts to aid Trump in overturning election

Rosen told Senate committee, DOJ watchdog about Clark’s efforts to cast doubt on 2020 election’s veracity

John Bowden
Sunday 08 August 2021 16:45
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Former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen was on Capitol Hill over the weekend, where during a six-hour-plus meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee he reportedly detailed his former deputy’s efforts to help former President Donald Trump attempt to reverse his 2020 election defeat.

Mr Rosen also spoke to the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General on Friday, according to The New York Times. During both conversations, the Times reported, Mr Rosen discussed efforts by Jeffrey Clark, former head of the DOJ’s civil division, to convince top officials to release statements claiming that investigations of voter fraud cast doubt on the veracity of the 2020 election results.

The shocking effort by Mr Clark, who, according to the Times, was in contact with Mr Trump in the final days of his presidency, shows just how far some of Mr Trump’s allies went in their efforts to weaponize the US government on the former president’s behalf.

A source familiar with Mr Rosen’s discussions told the Times that Mr Rosen described multiple instances in which Mr Clark pressed colleagues such as himself to make statements they believed to be false concerning the 2020 election. One example described by the newspaper involved plans to send a letter to Georgia lawmakers falsely claiming that the DOJ was investigating voter fraud in the state and that the state’s election results should be voided in the meantime.

Other allies of the former president, most notably ex-Attorney General William Barr, did not go along with Mr Trump’s attempts to overturn his defeat, thereby preventing the Justice Department from effectively being used as Mr Trump’s cudgel as he attempted to strong-arm local officials in battleground states where he lost to President Joe Biden.

Among the facts detailed to the committee and DOJ Inspector General by Mr Rosen, according to the Times, included his discovery that Mr Clark was having unauthorised secret conversations with Mr Trump about the president’s effort to cling to the White House for a second term, and his direct order to Mr Clark in December of 2020 to cease contact with the president.

Mr Clark declined to speak to the Times for their latest report, and did not respond immediately to a request for comment from The Independent.

Efforts by Mr Trump to overturn the election culminated in an attack on the US Capitol on 6 January, when thousands of pro-Trump rioters overwhelmed police around the building and made their way inside in an effort to halt the procedure of lawmakers counting votes from the Electoral College, thereby certifying Mr Biden’s win.

In recent months Mr Trump has continued to spread false claims about voter fraud and election fraud during the 2020 election, despite his own former top deputies stating publicly that there was no evidence to back up his assertions.

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