NYT: Rep. Perry played role in alleged Trump plan to oust acting AG
Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry (R) played a key role in an alleged plan by former President Trump to oust then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen in a bid to overturn the election results in Georgia, according to a Saturday report by The New York Times.
The outlet reported that Perry, who earlier this month voted in favor to object to the election results in Pennsylvania and Arizona in Congress, coordinated the introduction between Trump and Jeffrey Clark, the acting chief of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil division.
Clark had reportedly been receptive to Trump’s claims that the 2020 election had been “stolen” from him.
The Times initially reported Friday that Trump sought to replace Rosen with Clark after Rosen refused to support Trump’s disputed claims that the presidential election was tainted by widespread voter fraud. Four former Trump administration officials told the newspaper that the plot to replace Rosen failed after DOJ officials uncovered the plan and threatened to resign en masse.
On Saturday, the Times reported that former Trump administration officials said Clark informed the acting attorney general in late December about a meeting with the former president brokered by Perry.
The Times noted it was unclear how Perry initially met Clark and how well they knew each other prior to the meeting with the former president. Both the president and Clark also reportedly engaged in several direct phone conversations.
Justice Department officials were reportedly surprised by these interactions, as Clark had not previously alerted Rosen. The agency’s policy states that the president must first communicate with the attorney general or deputy attorney general on any DOJ matter.
According to the Times, former officials said that Perry and Clark discussed a plan to have the Justice Department send a letter to Georgia state lawmakers stating that a voter fraud investigation was forthcoming that could potentially overturn the state’s election results. The two men then discussed the alleged plan with Trump.
However, Rosen reportedly refused to send the letter.
The former officials briefed on the matter told the Times that the Justice Department had carried out dozens of voter fraud investigations, none of which resulted in findings that would have altered the outcome of the election.
The Hill has reached out to Perry’s office for comment on the Times report.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the DOJ on Saturday informing the agency that he was investigating alleged efforts by Trump and Clark “to use the Department of Justice to further Trump’s efforts to overthrow the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has also called for the DOJ’s internal watchdog to investigate Trump over Friday’s Times report, tweeting Saturday that it was “unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people’s will.”
“The Justice Dept Inspector General must launch an investigation into this attempted sedition now,” Schumer added.
Schumer went on to say that the Senate will “move forward” with an impeachment trial into Trump over his role in the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. The trial is set to begin the week of Feb. 8.
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