Desperate to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election that he lost badly to President Joe Biden, Donald Trump hatched a plan that involved ousting acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen and replace him with a handpicked toady who had agreed to pressure election officials in the state of Georgia until they relented and declared Trump victorious in the Peach State, according to a blockbuster report from the New York Times:
“The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results.
“The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising 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. 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. The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked each other: What will you do if Mr. Rosen is dismissed? The answer was unanimous. They would resign.”
The threats of resignation by so many top DOJ officials kept Trump from carrying out his own Saturday Night Massacre just so he could garner Georgia’s 16 electoral votes, which would have left him short of the 270 necessary for a second term in office:
“Their informal pact ultimately helped persuade Mr. Trump to keep Mr. Rosen in place, calculating that a furor over mass resignations at the top of the Justice Department would eclipse any attention on his baseless accusations of voter fraud. Mr. Trump’s decision came only after Mr. Rosen and Mr. Clark made their competing cases to him in a bizarre White House meeting that two officials compared with an episode of Mr. Trump’s reality show ‘The Apprentice,’ albeit one that could prompt a constitutional crisis.”
This latest revelation could well come up at Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial, which will begin in February. If it can be proven that the former president did indeed attempt to manipulate the results of the election, that evidence could be introduced by House impeachment managers to show a pattern of criminal behavior that might convince some Senate Republicans to vote for Trump’s conviction.
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