An internal government watchdog is launching an investigation to determine if any former or current officials in the U.S. Department of Justice tried to reverse the outcome of last November's presidential election.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced on Monday that the probe will examine whether any DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt" to overturn President Joe Biden's electoral victory. The Justice Department's inspector general will look into allegations regarding the conduct of former and current department officials but will not investigate other government officials, The Associated Press reported.
The probe comes after the New York Times reported last Friday that Jeffrey Clark, a former acting assistant attorney general, had spoken with then-President Donald Trump about a plan to oust then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, invalidate the results of the presidential contest in Georgia, and falsely attribute Trump's losses elsewhere to widespread voter fraud in a last-ditch effort to stop Congress from certifying Biden's win.
According to the Times, Trump did not follow through with Clark's scheme because senior members of the DOJ threatened to resign en masse should Trump fire Rosen.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday said it was "unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people's will," and demanded the inspector general "launch an investigation into this attempted sedition now."
Unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people's will— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 23, 2021
The Justice Dept Inspector General must launch an investigation into this attempted sedition now
And the Senate will move forward with Trump's impeachment trialhttps://t.co/GTTYIGG3mj
Horowitz initiated the probe two days later, the latest attempt to figure out the lengths to which Trump and his allies went to undermine an election whose legitimacy is indisputable.
Election officials nationwide, including Republican governors in key battleground states won by Biden, as well as Trump's former Attorney General William Barr, have confirmed the absence of widespread fraud in last year's race.
More than 50 lawsuits challenging the integrity of the election were dismissed by judges across the country, including two cases thrown out due to a lack of evidence by the Supreme Court, on which three Trump-appointed justices sit.
In addition, the federal government's top cybersecurity official—a Trump appointee—called the 2020 election "the most secure in American history."