During a public hearing of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue said he told then-President Donald Trump that if he appointed Jeffrey Clark as acting attorney general, there would be hundreds of DOJ resignations.
ADAM KINZINGER: Mr. Donoghue, did you eventually tell the president that mass resignations would occur if he installed Mr. Clark and what the consequences would be?
RICHARD DONOGHUE: Yes. So this was in line with the president’s saying what do I have to lose? And along those lines, he said, so suppose I do this. Suppose I replace him, Jeff Rosen, with him, Jeff Clark. What would you do? And I said, Mr. President I would resign immediately. I’m not working one minute for this guy who I had just declared was completely incompetent.
And so the president immediately turned to Mr. Engel. And he said, Steve, you wouldn’t resign would you? And he said absolutely I would Mr. President. You leave me no choice. And then I said and we’re not the only ones. No one cares if we resign. If Steve and I go, that’s fine. It doesn’t matter. But I’m telling you what’s going to happen, you’re going to lose your entire department leadership.
Every single AAG will walk out on you. Your entire department of leadership will walk out within hours. And I don’t know what happens after that. I don’t know what the United States attorneys are going to do. We have US attorneys in districts across the country. And my guess would be that many of them would have resigned and that would then have led to resignations across the department in Washington.
And I said, Mr. President, within 24, 48, 72 hours you could have hundreds and hundreds of resignations of the leadership of your entire Justice Department because of your actions. What’s that going to say about you?