A new indictment of former President Donald Trump has provided previously unknown details about his efforts to prevent President Joe Biden from succeeding him in the White House. The indictment reveals that Trump made a serious attempt to install Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark as Attorney General and pressured Republican members of Congress to delay the certification of Biden's Electoral College victory. It also includes evidence that Trump knew he was not the legitimate winner of the 2020 election, despite publicly claiming otherwise.
According to the indictment, Clark met with Trump behind the backs of senior DOJ officials to push false claims of election misconduct and the theory that Vice President Mike Pence could reject slates of Biden electors. Clark even accepted Trump's offer to become Acting Attorney General without informing senior Justice Department officials. However, it was well known that Trump backed off from making Clark Attorney General after DOJ leadership threatened to resign.
The indictment also reveals that Clark floated the idea of using the Insurrection Act to respond to civil disorder or rebellion. This conversation occurred after a deputy White House counsel informed Trump that there was no option for him to remain in the White House after January 20th. The counsel warned Clark that if Trump remained in office, there would be riots in every major city in the United States.
Hours after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, disrupting the certification of Biden's victory, Trump and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani attempted to exploit the chaos by calling lawmakers to convince them to delay the certification based on false claims of election fraud. Giuliani even left a voicemail for a senator, urging them to slow down the process.
Despite these efforts, the indictment states that the White House Counsel called Trump and asked him to withdraw any objections and allow the certification. However, Trump refused to do so.
Interestingly, in dealings with others, Trump seemed to admit that Biden had won the election and would soon replace him in the White House. During a briefing on a national security issue, Trump calmly agreed that it was too late for him and that he would leave it to the next president.
The indictment also highlights how Trump pressured Pence to reject certifications of Biden electoral slates. After Pence refused, Trump made a public speech falsely claiming that the Vice President had the authority to send electoral votes back to the states.
Overall, this indictment provides new insights into Trump's attempts to prevent Biden from assuming the presidency and his awareness that he was not the legitimate winner of the election.