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OT - Politics - Hoo-boy!

by hobbs, San Diego, Friday, January 22, 2021, 19:24
edited by hobbs, Friday, January 22, 2021, 19:55

there are no words.

FWIW, Clark is a Federalist Society Contributor.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/us/politics/jeffrey-clark-trump-justice-department-e...

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Trump and Justice Dept. Lawyer Said to Have Plotted to Oust Acting Attorney General

Trying to find another avenue to push his baseless election claims, Donald Trump considered installing a loyalist, and had the men make their cases to him.

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Jeffrey Clark, who led the Justice Department’s civil division, had been working with President Donald J. Trump to devise ways to cast doubt on the election results.

By Katie Benner

Jan. 22, 2021Updated 8:50 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — 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 J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. 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 Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark.

The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked each other: What will you do if Mr. Rosen is dismissed?

The answer was unanimous. They would resign.

Their informal pact ultimately helped persuade Mr. Trump to keep Mr. Rosen in place, calculating that a furor over mass resignations at the top of the Justice Department would eclipse any attention on his baseless accusations of voter fraud. Mr. Trump’s decision came only after Mr. Rosen and Mr. Clark made their competing cases to him in a bizarre White House meeting that two officials compared with an episode of Mr. Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” albeit one that could prompt a constitutional crisis.

The previously unknown chapter was the culmination of the president’s long-running effort to batter the Justice Department into advancing his personal agenda. He also pressed Mr. Rosen to appoint special counsels, including one who would look into Dominion Voting Systems, a maker of election equipment that Mr. Trump’s allies had falsely said was working with Venezuela to flip votes from Mr. Trump to Joseph R. Biden Jr.

This account of the department’s final days under Mr. Trump’s leadership is based on interviews with four former Trump administration officials who asked not to be named because of fear of retaliation.

Mr. Clark said that this account contained inaccuracies but did not specify, adding that he could not discuss any conversations with Mr. Trump or Justice Department lawyers. “Senior Justice Department lawyers, not uncommonly, provide legal advice to the White House as part of our duties,” he said. “All my official communications were consistent with law.”

Mr. Clark also noted that he was the lead signatory on a Justice Department request last month asking a federal judge to reject a lawsuit that sought to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the election.

Mr. Trump declined to comment. An adviser said that Mr. Trump has consistently argued that the justice system should investigate “rampant election fraud that has plagued our system for years.”

The adviser added that “any assertion to the contrary is false and being driven by those who wish to keep the system broken.”

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment, as did Mr. Rosen.

When Mr. Trump said on Dec. 14 that Attorney General William P. Barr was leaving the department, some officials thought that he might allow Mr. Rosen a short reprieve before pressing him about voter fraud. After all, Mr. Barr would be around for another week.

Instead, Mr. Trump summoned Mr. Rosen to the Oval Office the next day. He wanted the Justice Department to file legal briefs supporting his allies’ lawsuits seeking to overturn his election loss. And he urged Mr. Rosen to appoint special counsels to investigate not only unfounded accusations of widespread voter fraud, but also Dominion, the voting machines firm.

(Dominion has sued the pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, who inserted those accusations into four federal lawsuits about voter irregularities that were all dismissed.)

Mr. Rosen refused. He maintained that he would make decisions based on the facts and the law, and he reiterated what Mr. Barr had privately told Mr. Trump: The department had investigated voting irregularities and found no evidence of widespread fraud.

But Mr. Trump continued to press Mr. Rosen after the meeting — in phone calls and in person. He repeatedly said that he did not understand why the Justice Department had not found evidence that supported conspiracy theories about the election that some of his personal lawyers had espoused. He declared that the department was not fighting hard enough for him.

As Mr. Rosen and the deputy attorney general, Richard P. Donoghue, pushed back, they were unaware that Mr. Clark had been introduced to Mr. Trump by a Pennsylvania politician and had told the president that he agreed that fraud had affected the election results.

Mr. Trump quickly embraced Mr. Clark, who had been appointed the acting head of the civil division in September and was also the head of the department’s environmental and natural resources division.

As December wore on, Mr. Clark mentioned to Mr. Rosen and Mr. Donoghue that he spent a lot of time reading on the internet — a comment that alarmed them because they inferred that he believed the unfounded conspiracy theory that Mr. Trump had won the election. Mr. Clark also told them that he wanted the department to hold a news conference announcing that it was investigating serious accusations of election fraud. Mr. Rosen and Mr. Donoghue rejected the proposal.

As Mr. Trump focused increasingly on Georgia, a state he lost narrowly to Mr. Biden, he complained to Justice Department leaders that the U.S. attorney in Atlanta, Byung J. Pak, was not trying to find evidence for false election claims pushed by Mr. Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and others. Mr. Donoghue warned Mr. Pak that the president was now fixated on his office, and that it might not be tenable for him to continue to lead it, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

That conversation and Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to “find” him votes compelled Mr. Pak to abruptly resign this month.

Mr. Clark was also focused on Georgia. He 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.

Mr. Rosen and Mr. Donoghue again rejected Mr. Clark’s proposal.

On New Year’s Eve, the trio met to discuss Mr. Clark’s refusal to hew to the department’s conclusion that the election results were valid. Mr. Donoghue flatly told Mr. Clark that what he was doing was wrong. The next day, Mr. Clark told Mr. Rosen — who had mentored him while they worked together at the law firm Kirkland & Ellis — that he was going to discuss his strategy with the president early the next week, just before Congress was set to certify Mr. Biden’s electoral victory.

Unbeknown to the acting attorney general, Mr. Clark’s timeline moved up. He met with Mr. Trump over the weekend, then informed Mr. Rosen midday on Sunday that the president intended to replace him with Mr. Clark, who could then try to stop Congress from certifying the Electoral College results. He said that Mr. Rosen could stay on as his deputy attorney general, leaving Mr. Rosen speechless.

Unwilling to step down without a fight, Mr. Rosen said that he needed to hear straight from Mr. Trump and worked with the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, to convene a meeting for early that evening.

[image]
Mr. Clark asked Mr. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen, the acting attorney general.

Even as Mr. Clark’s pronouncement was sinking in, stunning news broke out of Georgia: State officials had recorded an hourlong call, published by The Washington Post, during which Mr. Trump pressured them to manufacture enough votes to declare him the victor. As the fallout from the recording ricocheted through Washington, the president’s desperate bid to change the outcome in Georgia came into sharp focus.

Mr. Rosen and Mr. Donoghue pressed ahead, informing Steven Engel, the head of the Justice Department’s office of legal counsel, about Mr. Clark’s latest maneuver. Mr. Donoghue convened a late-afternoon call with the department’s remaining senior leaders, laying out Mr. Clark’s efforts to replace Mr. Rosen.

Mr. Rosen planned to soon head to the White House to discuss his fate, Mr. Donoghue told the group. Should Mr. Rosen be fired, they all agreed to resign en masse. For some, the plan brought to mind the so-called Saturday Night Massacre of the Nixon era, where Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson and his deputy resigned rather than carry out the president’s order to fire the special prosecutor investigating him.

The Clark plan, the officials concluded, would seriously harm the department, the government and the rule of law. For hours, they anxiously messaged and called one another as they awaited Mr. Rosen’s fate.

Around 6 p.m., Mr. Rosen, Mr. Donoghue and Mr. Clark met at the White House with Mr. Trump, Mr. Cipollone, his deputy Patrick Philbin and other lawyers. Mr. Trump had Mr. Rosen and Mr. Clark present their arguments to him.

Mr. Cipollone advised the president not to fire Mr. Rosen and he reiterated, as he had for days, that he did not recommend sending the letter to Georgia lawmakers. Mr. Engel advised Mr. Trump that he and the department’s remaining top officials would resign if he fired Mr. Rosen, leaving Mr. Clark alone at the department.

Mr. Trump seemed somewhat swayed by the idea that firing Mr. Rosen would trigger not only chaos at the Justice Department, but also congressional investigations and possibly recriminations from other Republicans and distract attention from his efforts to overturn the election results.

After nearly three hours, Mr. Trump ultimately decided that Mr. Clark’s plan would fail, and he allowed Mr. Rosen to stay.

Mr. Rosen and his deputies concluded they had weathered the turmoil. Once Congress certified Mr. Biden’s victory, there would be little for them to do until they left along with Mr. Trump in two weeks.

They began to exhale days later as the Electoral College certification at the Capitol got underway. And then they received word: The building had been breached.

  469 views

Can y'all educate me? Why was the emphasis on GA?

by Grantland, y'allywood, Monday, January 25, 2021, 09:54 @ hobbs

If Trump woulda been successful in GA, he still loses right? Is it cuz Ga was close and if he succeeded here maybe a cascade effect? He would still have to have changed two other states right? Even if he proves GA and PA Biden still wins 270?

  72 views

Yes, he needed three states

by Brendan @, The Chemical and Oil Refinery State, Monday, January 25, 2021, 10:41 @ Grantland

Flipping GA and PA would've left Biden with exactly 270 electoral votes. They still needed to flip any other result, and pinned their hopes on MI, NV, and AZ. The court cases were smacked down relentlessly by judges, either for lacking standing or lacking evidence or lacking remotely competent filing skills, or some combination of the three.

I think the focus landed on GA because (a) it was the closest by percentage and (b) Trump was probably enraged at the loss of a state he considered guaranteed, so his own attention was drawn there.

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"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy." - Yeats

  71 views

The deeper they dig, the worse it will get ...

by Mark, SBN, Friday, January 22, 2021, 23:10 @ hobbs
edited by Mark, Friday, January 22, 2021, 23:14

Sounds like there were some inside supporters of the attack on the US Capitol ... from the article linked below titled Self-styled militia members planned on storming the U.S. Capitol days in advance of Jan. 6 attack, court documents say:

“... In charging papers, the FBI said that during the Capitol riot, Caldwell received Facebook messages from unspecified senders updating him of the location of lawmakers. When he posted a one-word message, “Inside,” he received exhortations and directions describing tunnels, doors and hallways, the FBI said.

"Some messages, according to the FBI, included, “Tom all legislators are down in the Tunnels 3floors down,” and “Go through back house chamber doors facing N left down hallway down steps.” Another message read: “All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas,” the FBI added.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/conspiracy-oath-keeper-arrest-capitol...

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"2020 ... Let's win it all ..."

  362 views

He should go to prison for the rest of his life

by Mike (bart), Saturday, January 23, 2021, 06:55 @ Mark

[ No text ]

  201 views

He’s in for so much litigation and prosecution

by JD in Portland @, Portland OR, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 08:51 @ Mike (bart)

And law firms will not be eager to represent him; in fact 1-2 of his long time law firms dumped him this week.
He’s going or have to deal with inciting a riot, tax fraud, election law violations, sexual assault, MaraLago land use dispute, countless contract cases etc etc. The NY AG alone is going to have him defending more suits than he’ll know what to do with.
And now that he’s not the POTUS, I expect we’ll hear from more whistleblowers, people either still now or formerly in the government, with wrongdoing we don’t even know about yet.
His businesses will tank even more than they already have because no business meetings will be held at his properties unless it’s the Mr Pillow annual meeting or Hobby Lobby or Newsmax.
He is totally screwed with our without an impeachment conviction.
His lifetime of breaking every rule and norm and never being held accountable is over. No one is coming to his defense and all hell is going to unleashed on him. But rather than one big hit, it’ll be steady and coming from numerous directions, a continuous firestorm for the next 5 yrs - convictions, massive judgments, liens, loss of assets, huge fines, shunned socially and professionally, possibly prison.

  299 views

There is no way Trump will ever be financially bankrupt

by hobbs, San Diego, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 11:30 @ JD in Portland
edited by hobbs, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 11:37

The US Government would NEVER allow a man who had access to the nations highest secrets to become a beggar.

Say that happens.

Trump could visit Switzerland and have a dinner with NK officials and just breezily mention a very minor detail that either upends US policy and/or gives away/confirms to a foreign adversary a tactical secret or operational thought/plan.

It'd all be legal.

Trump would officially get a top-cover speaking fee like former Presidents but infomation $$ dollars could also be routed to a former President with global financial entanglenets under the table.

  283 views

How could he be more dangerous than he is now

by JD in Portland @, Portland OR, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 17:02 @ hobbs

He planned and incited a bloody attack on the Capitol where a mob of thousands completely ransacked the Capitol, killed a cop and sought to assassinate the VP, the Speaker and many congresspersons.
I’m not sure how the threat of bankruptcy, something he’s already done 7 times in his life, could make it much worse.

  200 views

Fortunately, he never paid attention during the PDBs --

by omahadomer, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 16:05 @ hobbs

He doesn't know shit. He and Fox created an alternative fact-free universe. They aren't going to give him access to intelligence now. Fox & Friends was for practical purposes his PDR.

I doubt that even now he knows anything of use and a few months from now whatever scraps he retained will be completely out of date.

  218 views

Even if he could remember anything...

by domer.mq ⌂ @, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 16:41 @ omahadomer

He's so self-interested you'd never know if he was actually giving real intel or if someway, somehow, it's shit that he's floating to try and drive profits for himself.

Verifying anything he gave you would be a nightmare.

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Sometimes I rhyme slow sometimes I rhyme quick.

  202 views

And I would think his jail cell will be closely monitored.

by Grantland, y'allywood, Monday, January 25, 2021, 10:23 @ domer.mq

Hope.

  59 views

Winning was, ultimately, bad for him

by Greg, 'dena, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 10:15 @ JD in Portland

As you say, it pushed him to a big high but also revealed everything. So not only are the issues that were pending on January 20, 2017 (loans coming due, state investigations) still in play, but as you note his properties have lost cachet and there are federal investigations and issues.

And without the familiar law firms to do the heavy lifting of stretching things out, obstructing prosecutors, hammering opposing litigants, and generally kicking cans down the road, his new and lesser lawyers will have to try to keep up the old tactics but on those additional fronts.

And - and good for you for bringing it up - he'll have less money to pay those lesser lawyers with because his properties are getting dumped by organizations left and right and becoming must-avoid for individuals. What he has left are, as you note, a very limited number of entities and persons who still believe in him or support him.

But if a few judgments hit or indictments come down that make things uglier for him, even those supporters may stop patronizing his properties. Then what happens?

It'll be an interesting year for sure. I'd love to look back at this time next year and see what has happened to him.

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glorious (n.) - amazing and inspiring so as to fill an observer with awe; see, e.g., John Parr's hair in the "Man in Motion" video

  291 views

Those properties are dead in the water as long as he owns

by IrishGuard, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 11:50 @ Greg

them. Few with the ability to stay in such places will want to patronize him, and his base wouldn't be welcome there even if they could afford it (which they can't). The archetypal Trumper may not be the opioid addict living off disability many liberals think, but they aren't staying at Mar-A-Lago or Turnberry.

Can you imagine the lobby at Albemarle filled with a bunch of goateed, overweight guys with cellphone holders and Real Tree© canvas Dickies jackets? Not exactly the image of luxury he's trying so hard to project.

  252 views

Just the latest person on the receiving end of the age old

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Saturday, January 23, 2021, 11:06 @ Greg

legal axiom: pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.

  250 views
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