Jeffrey Clark, the former head of the Justice Department’s civil division, surprised his colleagues when he, the quiet and intellectual lawyer, suddenly began matching Donald Trump’s bogus voter fraud claims. Those who knew Clark in the Department of Justice described him as detail-oriented and hard-working. He has never publicly acted as a Trump loyalist and surprised many when he stood in defiance of the acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen‘s orders to not object to Georgia’s election results in the 2020 presidential election.

Clark reportedly talked with Trump in a secret meeting where the two concocted a plan where Clark would become the new acting attorney general and then formally contest the results of Georgia’s election.

If followed, the Trump-Clark plan would have removed the then Acting Attorney General Rosen and replaced him with Clark. Clark would then formally contest the election results in Georgia and pressure local lawmakers to overturn the election in favor of Trump.

The only reason the plan fell through is because once it became clear Trump intended to fire Rosen, leaders in the Department of Justice vowed to resign en mass if Rosen was removed from his position.

Clark, when asked by The New York Times, refused to comment on his dealings with Trump and plans to oust Rosen. Clark said he could not detail his dealing with Trump because of legal privilege issues, but that all official communications “were consistent with law.”

Rosen has since come out to criticize the actions of Clark as a clear attempt to overturn the election. Considering his reserved character, colleague Theodore Frank told the Times, “The story kind of shocked me because this is not the Jeff that I know. I know Jeff as a guy who really cares about the rule of law and, you know, just a rumpled, thoughtful lawyer who is an intellectual — not a Machiavellian backstabber.”

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