Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark nearly convinced then-President Donald Trump to remove then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and use the Department of Justice to undo Georgia’s election results, The New York Times reported Friday.
The plan would have pushed Rosen out and installed Clark in his role. Clark then would have taken steps to use the Justice Department to keep Trump in office. According to the reporting, Clark met with Trump earlier this month and then told Rosen that Trump was going to remove him in favor of Clark.
Rosen demanded to hear this from Trump himself, which led to a meeting where Trump had both Rosen and Clark state their cases for him in front of other DOJ officials, as well as White House lawyer Pat Cipollone and others.
The Times cited two officials who compared Rosen’s and Clark’s opposing arguments during the meeting to an episode of Trump’s old show, “The Apprentice.”
An agreement among department leadership that they would all resign if Rosen were fired ultimately helped sway Trump from removing his acting attorney general.
In a statement that seemed to draw on language in the New York Times account, Clark said, “I categorically deny that I ‘devised a plan . . . to oust’ Jeff Rosen. . . . Nor did I formulate recommendations for action based on factual inaccuracies gleaned from the Internet.”
The DOJ has yet to comment.