A report from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday highlighted details that showed the extent that government lawyers were threatening to resign en masse if Trump removed his attorney general to be replaced with a loyalist.
Republicans on the panel argued that Trump did not subvert the justice department in order to stay in power, but the Democrats on the panel showed the pressure Trump provoked, nearly creating a constitutional crisis.
The report shows that on January 3, just three days before the insurrection at the Capitol, then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, his deputy Richard Donoghue, and others including Pat Cippolone, White House counsel, met at the Oval Office for three hours.
The primary topic of the meeting was Trump’s plan to replace Rosen as AG with Jeffrey Clark, a Trump loyalist who had been participating with Trump in many conversations about how to overturn the election.
According to testimony Rosen gave to the committee, Trump opened the meeting by saying, “One thing we know is you, Rosen, aren’t going to do anything to overturn the election.”
Rosen’s deputy Donoghue and another DOJ official made clear in the meeting that all assistant attorneys general would resign if Rosen was replaced, as well as the possibility of other DOJ officials and U.S. Attorneys resigning en masse.
Top White House lawyer Pat Cipollone also made clear that he and his deputy would quit if Trump followed through in replacing Rosen.
Clark and Trump were insistent on sending a letter to Georgia officials directing them to get involved in questioning the election results. Rosen and Donoghue had refused to send the letter.
Cipollone called Clark’s letter a “murder-suicide pact,” for the chain reaction it would be likely to set off inside the government, the report says.
The report is 394 pages long.
This is from the NYT report and the Washington Post.
HuffPo also has more to the story.