Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.
Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] 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."
- Trump ultimately decided not to fire Rosen after DOJ officials unanimously decided they would resign if the then-president went through with the plan, The Times reported. The acting attorney general and Clark also each made their case in a "bizarre White House meeting that two officials compared with an episode of Mr. Trump’s reality show 'The Apprentice.'"
Clark "categorically" denied that he crafted a plan to oust Rosen, per the Times and Washington Post, which also reported the alleged plan.
- "Nor did I formulate recommendations for action based on factual inaccuracies gleaned from the Internet," Clark noted, according to the Post.
- “There were no ‘maneuver[s].’ There was a candid discussion of options and pros and cons with the President. It is unfortunate that those who were part of a privileged legal conversation would comment in public about such internal deliberations, while also distorting any discussions. ... Observing legal privileges, which I will adhere to even if others will not, prevent me from divulging specifics regarding the conversation.”
- The DOJ, Rosen and Trump declined to comment to the Times. An adviser told the paper that the justice system should investigate "rampant election fraud that has plagued our system for years."
What he's saying: "Unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people's will," Schumer tweeted Saturday.
- "The Justice Dept Inspector General must launch an investigation into this attempted sedition now," he added.
- "And the Senate will move forward with Trump's impeachment trial," slated for the week of Feb. 8.