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 Trump to oust Jeffrey 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 Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Trump was about to decide whether to fire Rosen and replace him with Clark.
The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked one another: What will you do if Rosen is dismissed?
The answer was unanimous. They would resign.