A Tuesday report in the Washington Post details how Trump’s efforts to get his loyal worm, then-Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark installed as Acting AG came to an embarrassing halt in a January 3rd, 2021 meeting in the Oval Office in which every top official Justice Department and the White House Counsel’s office vowed to walk if the Donald moved forward.
Following Bill Barr’s resignation on December 23rd, 2020, his deputy Jeff Rosen took over to face immediate pressure from Trump to sign a letter declaring the election had been corrupted and giving him cover to pull all sorts of bullshit moves like compelling the state legislatures to name the alternate slate of electors as valid. Rosen would not budge, but Clark, one of his Assistant AGs, had connected with Trump via MAGA Congressman Scott Perry. Per the Post, Rosen repeatedly warned Clark to stop the bullshit but could not fire him as he was a presidential appointee.
Finally on January 3rd, Deputy AG Richard Donoghue was on the mall in jeans and a t-shirt was called into the White House to join a confrontation between Clark and Rosen in the Oval Office, in the middle of Clark telling his Orange Allah he would “conduct real investigations that would, in his view, uncover widespread fraud,” and “this was a last opportunity to sort of set things straight with this defective election, and that he could do it, and he had the intelligence and the will and the desire to pursue these matters in the way that the president thought most appropriate.”
Donoghue then told Trump “You should understand that your entire department leadership will resign. Every [assistant attorney general] will resign… Mr. President, these aren’t bureaucratic leftovers from another administration. You picked them…” then adding about Clark “He’s never been a criminal attorney. He’s never conducted a criminal investigation in his life. He’s never been in front of a grand jury, much less a trial jury.”
“Well, I’ve done a lot of very complicated appeals and civil litigation, environmental litigation, and things like that,” Clark responded, trying to sell himself to Trump.
“That’s right. You’re an environmental lawyer. How about you go back to your office, and we’ll call you when there’s an oil spill,” Donoghue said to Clark, right in front of Trump.
White House Counsel Pat Cippolone then said the plan was a non-starter, to which Trump made his decree: “I appreciate your willingness to do it,” Trump said to Clark. “I appreciate you being willing to suffer the abuse. But the reality is, you’re not going to get anything done. These guys are going to quit. Everyone else is going to resign. It’s going to be a disaster. The bureaucracy will eat you alive. And no matter how much you want to get things done in the next few weeks, you won’t be able to get it done, and it’s not going to be worth the breakage.”
Clark then changed the subject to trying to get Pence to overturn the election in Congress a few days later. Trump then said “Nobody should be talking to the vice president here,” because he was the only one who was going to harass Pence and nearly get him lynched at the Capitol that week.