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Trump actually did appoint coup-backing Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general: report

In the waning days of former President Donald Trump’s first term, he weighed a plan to install DOJ official Jeffrey Clark as his acting attorney general, only to apparently decide against it after the threat of mass resignations at the DOJ convinced him it would backfire.

However, Politico reports that an attorney representing Clark is now claiming that Trump really did appoint him to be acting AG, only to rescind the appointment shortly afterward.

According to Politico, attorney Harry MacDougald said on Thursday during Clark’s disciplinary hearing that “there was a period on Jan. 3 when he was the acting attorney general until the president changed his mind later that day.”

Trump had wanted to appoint Clark to run the DOJ so that the department would publicly announce that the results of the 2020 election had been “corrupt,” after which Trump would pressure Republicans in Congress to refuse to certify the election results on January 6th, 2021.

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It was never clear whether Trump actually went through with appointing Clark to run the DOJ, although White House call logs obtained by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th Capitol riots showed that Clark was referred to as “Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Clark” during a call between him and Trump that occurred on the afternoon of January 3rd.

That said, Politico also interviewed some former Trump DOJ officials who were skeptical that Clark was ever really put in charge of DOJ for even a limited amount of time.

“I never heard of any of that until I read it in a media account long after we left Washington,” said Richard Donoghue, one of the Trump DOJ officials who threatened to resign if Trump made Clark the AG. “I find that claim to be implausible.”

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