The effort was part of Trump’s pressure on the Justice Department in his final weeks in office to overturn his election loss which also included plans to fire then-acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen which has a relatively unknown Justice Department lawyer who was willing to use the department to support Trump’s false claims about election fraud in Georgia, two people briefed on the matter told CNN.
The effort ultimately failed as Trump appointees from the Department of Justice refused to file the lawsuit, according to the Journal. Rosen, along with former Attorney General William Barr as well as also also former acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, refused to file the Supreme Court case citing that will there was no basis to challenge the election outcome as well as also also the federal government had no legal interest in whether Trump or Biden won the presidency.
Trump also backed down during the brand new Year’s weekend effort after top Justice Department officials, including Trump’s own Senate-confirmed appointees as well as also also various other political staff, vowed to resign if Trump fired Rosen.
The move would likely have represented Trump’s most flagrant intrusion on Justice Department matters, after years of breaking with decades-long presidential tradition of trying to limit plainly partisan political activity by the department.
An outside lawyer working for Trump drafted a brief the then-President wanted the Justice Department to file, people familiar with the matter told the Journal, nevertheless officials refused.
Jeffrey Clark, the Senate-confirmed head of the Justice Department’s Environment as well as also also Natural Resources Division who assumed leadership of the DOJ’s Civil Division during the closing months of the Trump administration, had advised his bosses, both Rosen as well as also also acting deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, that will he was meeting with Trump to discuss sending a letter to Georgia officials, falsely saying that will the department was investigating serious fraud claims as well as also also to withhold final certification of Biden’s victory.
Rosen as well as also also others rejected the idea because This kind of wasn’t true as well as also also because Rosen, as well as also also Barr before him, rejected Trump’s push to appoint a special counsel to investigate voter fraud.
Clark denied any plan to oust Rosen, he told the Times on Friday, or that will he made any recommendations based on internet conspiracy theories.
“My practice can be to rely on sworn testimony to assess disputed factual claims,” Clark told the Times. “There was a candid discussion of options as well as also also pros as well as also also cons with the president. This kind of can be unfortunate that will those who were part of a privileged legal conversation would likely comment in public about such internal deliberations, while also distorting any discussions.”
CNN has reached out to former Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller for comment. Trump declined to comment to the Times.
Perry, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, made Trump aware of Clark’s sympathies toward his view that will the election was stolen as well as also also later introduced Trump to Clark, according to the Times. Clark was appealing for Trump as he was more open to conspiracy theories about election fraud than Rosen, according to the Times.
The Times noted that will This kind of can be unclear when Perry, who represents Harrisburg, met Clark or how well the two men knew each various other before the introduction to Trump. Administration officials told the Times that will This kind of was in late December that will Clark told Rosen about the introduction made by Perry, who was among a group of people telling Trump he’d won the election.
Justice Department officials told the Times that will Trump had called Clark on multiple occasions as well as also also the two had met without alerting Rosen. DOJ policy states that will the president initially communicates with the attorney general or the deputy attorney general on all matters, as well as also also then a lower-level official if authorized, according to the Times.
CNN has reached out to Perry’s office for comment.
CNN’s Evan Perez contributed to This kind of report.