In what should be national front page news, former Trump acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday about Donald Trump's efforts to convince the Justice Department to declare the 2020 elections fraudulent, efforts spearheaded by Rosen's own deputy at the time, Jeffrey Clark.
Jeffrey A. Rosen, who was acting attorney general during the Trump administration, has told the Justice Department watchdog and congressional investigators that one of his deputies tried to help former President Donald J. Trump subvert the results of the 2020 election, according to a person familiar with the interviews.
Mr. Rosen had a two-hour meeting on Friday with the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general and provided closed-door testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday.
The investigations were opened after a New York Times article that detailed efforts by Jeffrey Clark, the acting head of the Justice Department’s civil division, to push top leaders to falsely and publicly assert that continuing election fraud investigations cast doubt on the Electoral College results. That prompted Mr. Trump to consider ousting Mr. Rosen and installing Mr. Clark at the top of the department to carry out that plan.
Mr. Trump never fired Mr. Rosen, but the plot highlights the former president’s desire to batter the Justice Department into advancing his personal agenda.
Mr. Clark, who did not respond to requests for comment, said in January that all of his official communications with the White House “were consistent with law,” and that he had engaged in “a candid discussion of options and pros and cons with the president.”
Mr. Rosen did not respond to requests for comment. The inspector general’s spokesman declined to comment.
Mr. Rosen has emerged as a key witness in multiple investigations that focus on Mr. Trump’s efforts to undermine the results of the election. He has publicly stated that the Justice Department did not find enough fraud to affect the outcome of the election.
On Friday Mr. Rosen told investigators from the inspector general’s office about five encounters with Mr. Clark, including one in late December during which his deputy admitted to meeting with Mr. Trump and pledged that he would not do so again, according to a person familiar with the interview.
Mr. Rosen also described subsequent exchanges with Mr. Clark, who continued to press colleagues to make statements about the election that they found to be untrue, according to a person familiar with the interview.
He also discovered that Mr. Clark had been engaging in unauthorized conversations with Mr. Trump about ways to have the Justice Department publicly cast doubt on President Biden’s victory, particularly in battleground states that Mr. Trump was fixated on, like Georgia. Mr. Clark drafted a letter that he asked Mr. Rosen to send to Georgia state legislators, wrongly asserting that they should void Mr. Biden’s victory because the Justice Department was investigating accusations of voter fraud in the state.
Such a letter would effectively undermine efforts by Mr. Clark’s colleagues to prevent the White House from overturning the election results, and Mr. Rosen and his top deputy, Richard P. Donoghue, rejected the proposal.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said Mr. Rosen discussed previously reported episodes, including his interactions with Mr. Clark, with the Senate Judiciary Committee. He called Mr. Rosen’s account “dramatic evidence of how intent Trump was in overthrowing the election.”
Clark was Trump's conduit in these meetings, funneling what should have been private DoJ deliberations directly to Trump, and Trump would in return give his orders to Clark to take back to Rosen and Donoghue. Rosen resisted several attempts by Clark and Trump to have the elections declared under investigation for fraud because there was no evidence of it.
That's how close we came to a Trump dictatorship. The man Donald Trump specifically replaced Bill Barr with in order to throw him the election didn't throw him the election.