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HomeVideoWATCH: Former DOJ official on Trump’s ‘absurd’ request to overhaul department leadership

WATCH: Former DOJ official on Trump’s ‘absurd’ request to overhaul department leadership


Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, testified on June 23 as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack presented its findings to the public.

Donoghue recounted an early January 2021 meeting with former President Donald Trump who asked whether he could replace acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with lawyer Jeffrey Clark who – unlike other DOJ officials – was willing to pursue false allegations of election fraud.

“At some point, the conversation turned to whether Jeff Clark was even qualified, competent to run the Justice Department. Which in my mind, he clearly was not. And it was a heated conversation,” Donoghue told the committee.

“I thought it was useful to point out to the president that Jeff Clark simply didn’t have the skills, the ability and the experience to run the department.”

Donoghue added that it was “absurd” to believe that Clark could get the department to pursue allegations of election fraud without the skills to lead the organization.

“He’s telling you that he’s going to take charge of the department of 115,000 employees, including the entire FBI, and turn the place on a dime and conduct nationwide criminal investigations that will produce results in a matter of days. It’s impossible. It’s absurd. It’s not going to happen, and it’s going to fail,” he added.

The hearing, the fifth of several planned by the Jan. 6 committee, focused on Trump’s pressure on the Department of Justice to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. In the year since its creation, the committee has conducted more than 1,000 interviews, seeking critical information and documents from people witness to, or involved in, the violence that day.

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