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Inside This Explosive Oval Office Confrontation | The Mesh Report

Inside This Explosive Oval Office Confrontation

the Mesh Report Staff June 14, 2022 Comments Off on Inside This Explosive Oval Office Confrontation

Three days before Congress was slated to certify the 2020 presidential election, a little-known Justice Department official named Jeffrey Clark rushed to meet President Donald Trump in the Oval Office to discuss a last-ditch attempt to reverse the results.

Clark, an environmental lawyer by trade, had outlined a plan in a letter he wanted to send to the leaders of key states Joe Biden won. It said that the Justice Department had “identified significant concerns” about the vote and that the states should consider sending “a separate slate of electors supporting Donald J. Trump” for Congress to approve.

In fact, Clark’s bosses had warned there was not evidence to overturn the election and had rejected his letter days earlier. Now they learned Clark was about to meet with Trump. Acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen tracked down his deputy, Richard Donoghue, who had been walking on the Mall in muddy jeans and an Army T-shirt. There was no time to change. They raced to the Oval Office.

As Rosen and Donoghue listened, Clark told Trump that he would send the letter if the president named him attorney general.

“History is calling,” Clark told the president, according to a deposition from Donoghue excerpted in a recent court filing. “This is our opportunity. We can get this done.”

Donoghue urged Trump not to put Clark in charge, calling him “not competent” and warning of “mass resignations” by Justice Department officials if he became the nation’s top law enforcement official, according to Donoghue’s account.

“What happens if, within 48 hours, we have hundreds of resignations from your Justice Department because of your actions?” Donoghue said he asked Trump. “What does that say about your leadership?”

Clark’s letter and his Oval Office meeting set off one of the tensest chapters during Trump’s effort to overturn the election, which culminated three days later with rioters storming the U.S. Capitol. His plan could have decapitated the Justice Department leadership and could have overturned the election.

Clark’s actions have been the focus of a Senate Judiciary Committee investigation and an ongoing probe by the Justice Department’s inspector general, and now are expected to be closely examined during June hearings by the House committee investigating the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021.

After the New York Times reported in January 2021 about Clark’s actions, he said he engaged in a “candid discussion of options and pros and cons with the president,” denied that he had a plan to oust Rosen, and criticized others in the meeting for talking publicly and “distorting” the discussion.

Now, however, key witnesses have provided Congress with a fuller account of Clark’s actions, including new details about the confrontation that took place in the Jan. 3 Oval Office meeting, which lasted nearly three hours.

A reconstruction of the events by The Washington Post, based on the court filings, depositions, Senate and House reports, previously undisclosed emails, and interviews with knowledgeable government officials, shows how close the country came to crisis three days before the insurrection.

The evidence, which fills in crucial details about Clark’s efforts, includes an email showing he was sent a draft of a letter outlining a plan to try to overturn the election by a just-arrived Justice Department official who had once written a book claiming President Barack Obama planned to “subvert the Constitution.”

Continue Reading at MSN News



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