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Trump tapped attorney from Northeast Philadelphia to push claims of election fraud, report says

Jeffrey Bossert Clark, 53, graduated from Father Judge High School.

Jeffrey Clark, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department, at a news conference in September. He grew up in Northeast Philadelphia.
Jeffrey Clark, assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department, at a news conference in September. He grew up in Northeast Philadelphia.Read moreSusan Walsh / AP

As he desperately clung to the notion that he won reelection, former President Donald J. Trump, according to a published report, found another dog that would hunt in a Justice Department attorney born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia.

According to a story published Friday in the New York Times, Trump tapped attorney Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a Tacony native and Father Judge High School graduate, to allegedly help him to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general. Trump, according to the Times, was disgruntled with Rosen because he refused to dig into election results in Georgia.

Clark, 53, head of the Justice Department’s environment division under Trump, was introduced to his boss by an unnamed Pennsylvania politician, the Times wrote “and had told the president that he agreed that fraud had affected the election results.” On Saturday, the paper identified the lawmaker as Republican Rep. Scott Perry, whose district includes Harrisburg and York.

The Times described Clark as “unassuming” and a “loyalist” and said he’d been devising a plan to bolster Trump’s false claims about general election results in the state. Trump, the Times wrote, had hoped to replace Rosen with Clark and both attorneys presented their cases to him in a scene sources described as akin to “The Apprentice,” the reality television show where Trump appeared to be a boss.

Trump ultimately decided against canning Rosen after several Justice Department officials said they would resign if that happened.

Clark, according to his Justice Department bio, began his “avocation as a high school and college debater and oral advocate” at Father Judge High School. Prior to that, he attended St. Leo elementary school in Tacony, where he grew up.

Clark earned a master’s degree from the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware before attending Georgetown Law. He began his career, according to his bio, working as economics analyst for Delaware’s Department of Finance.

In December, according to the Times, Clark allegedly told Rosen and Deputy Attorney General Richard P. Donoghue “that he spent a lot of time reading on the internet” and both men were concerned he believed the “conspiracy theory that Mr. Trump had won the election.” Clark, the Times wrote, allegedly told both men he wanted the department to announce that it was investigating serious accusations of election fraud, but they rejected the idea.

Clark told the Times that its account, based on interviews “with four former Trump administration officials who asked not to be named because of fear of retaliation,” contained inaccuracies.

“There was a candid discussion of options and pros and cons with the president,” Clark told the newspaper. “It is unfortunate that those who were part of a privileged legal conversation would comment in public about such internal deliberations, while also distorting any discussions.”

In a profile of Clark published last week in Bloomberg Law, he said he hoped President Joe Biden would hold on to some of the changes he made to National Environmental Policy Act regulations as head of the Justice Department’s environment division.

“It’s a challenging job,” Clark told Bloomberg. “It’s a very controversial area, and so I certainly knew that I was going to face that.”