Michael Horowitz, the Inspector General at the Department of Justice, announced on Monday that his office would be investigating the role of any current or former department officials in any “improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election.” The investigation “will encompass all relevant allegations that may arise that are within the scope of the OIG’s jurisdiction,” Horowitz added, referring to his office. The Office of the Inspector General at the Justice Department has jurisdiction only over the department, meaning that ex-President Donald Trump’s own role in any election overturning schemes would be left out of the imminent investigation.
Check out Horowitz’s announcement in the post below:
DOJ has announced an internal watchdog investigation into whether Jeff Clark or any other officials tried to overturn Biden's win on behalf of Trump. pic.twitter.com/GBsMHGVFfB
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) January 25, 2021
Horowitz announced this new investigation after reporting emerged about Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark’s role in a scheme to use the apparatus of the department to challenge the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. According to new reporting, the scheme eventually involved replacing then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Clark himself, although Clark denies that he plotted to oust Rosen. Reportedly, then-President Trump abandoned the plan to fire Rosen only after he learned of plans on the part of a number of top Justice Department officials to resign if Rosen was removed.
Clark, who was supportive of then-President Donald Trump’s lies about election integrity, “drafted a letter that he wanted Mr. Rosen to send to Georgia state legislators that wrongly said that the Justice Department was investigating accusations of voter fraud in their state, and that they should move to void Mr. Biden’s win there,” according to The New York Times, and this move would have been disastrous no matter who was in charge at the Justice Department. According to the same report, Clark also wanted the department to “hold a news conference announcing that it was investigating serious accusations of election fraud.” Using the powers of the Justice Department to perpetrate the lie that the election outcome was dubious could have had seriously damaging effects.
Trump himself supported Clark’s scheming, apparently. According to a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, Trump also “pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Biden’s victory,” although officials at the department refused to follow through with the demands. Presumably, the Justice Department sides of any communications involving Trump could be subject to the Office of the Inspector General’s newly announced investigation.