Jeffrey Rosen, who served as the acting attorney general towards the end of the Trump administration, has now testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the former president’s efforts to undercut last year’s presidential election, The New York Times reports. Rosen testified privately before that committee on Saturday, explaining that “one of his deputies tried to help former President Donald J. Trump subvert the results of the 2020 election,” the Times adds. That deputy was Jeffrey Clark, who led the Justice Department’s civil division and feverishly pushed false claims about the integrity of the election.
Clark’s efforts included a draft letter that he put together and wanted the Justice Department to send to officials in Georgia. The letter, which was never sent, claimed that officials had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia,” which was false. Nevertheless, such a letter could’ve significantly boosted efforts to get Biden’s win thrown out. Throughout the months following the election, state officials in areas where Biden was victorious faced pressure to appoint members of the electoral college from their respective jurisdictions that would support Trump instead of Biden. Such a move would have essentially amounted to an actual theft of the election, rather than the conspiratorial gobbledygook promoted by Trump and others.
According to the Times, Rosen also spoke for four hours with the office of the inspector general overseeing the Justice Department on Friday. Rosen pushed back against Clark’s efforts while the two of them were still on the job at the Justice Department, as did Richard Donoghue, who served as acting deputy attorney general when Rosen took over the leadership of the department. Notes that Donoghue made of a conversation involving himself, Rosen, and Trump recently emerged, revealing how — in Donoghue’s telling — the then-president pressured the then-top officials to “just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.”
The exact contents of Rosen’s testimony to Congress weren’t immediately clear, but according to the Times, he “told investigators from the inspector general’s office about five encounters with Mr. Clark, including one in late December during which his deputy admitted to meeting with Mr. Trump and pledged that he would not do so again.” Rosen “also discovered that Mr. Clark had been engaging in unauthorized conversations with Mr. Trump about ways to have the Justice Department publicly cast doubt on President Biden’s victory, particularly in battleground states that Mr. Trump was fixated on, like Georgia,” the Times explains. These steps by Clark and Trump obviously amount to a glaring abuse of power, threatening American democracy.