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During a public hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, former acting deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue said he told the then president, Donald Trump, that if he named Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general, there would be hundreds of DOJ resignations.
ADAM KINZINGER: Mr. Donoghue, did you finally tell the President that mass resignations would occur if he installed Mr. Clark and what would be the consequences?
RICHARD DONOGHUE: Yes. So, that was in line with the president’s words, what do I have to lose? And in that sense, he said, so suppose I do that. Suppose I replace him, Jeff Rosen, with him, Jeff Clark. What would you do? And I said, Mr. President, I would resign immediately. I don’t work a minute for this guy who I had just declared totally incompetent.
And so the president immediately turned to Mr. Engel. And he said, Steve, you wouldn’t quit, would you? And he absolutely said I would, Mr. President. You leave me no choice. And then I said and we’re not the only ones. Nobody cares if we quit. If Steve and I go, that’s fine. It does not matter. But I’m telling you what’s going to happen, you’re going to lose all leadership in your department.
Every AAG will abandon you. Your entire leadership department will be out within hours. And I don’t know what happens next. I don’t know what American lawyers are going to do. We have US attorneys in districts across the country. And I guess a lot of them would have quit, which then would have led to department-wide quits in Washington.
And I said, Mr. President, within 24, 48, 72 hours, you could have hundreds and hundreds of resignations from the leadership of your entire Department of Justice because of your actions. What will that say about you?
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