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Republican congressman played a role in Trump's campaign to fight election loss: NYT

Reuters logo Reuters 1/24/2021
Scott Perry et al. holding a sign: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest in front of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth capitol building in Harrisburg © Reuters/MARK KAUZLARICH Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest in front of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth capitol building in Harrisburg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Republican U.S. congressman played a role in ex-President Donald Trump's efforts to oust the top Justice Department official and replace him with a loyalist willing to support efforts to overturn his election defeat, the New York Times reported on Sunday.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: U.S. President Trump speaks to reporters about stock market gains at the White House in Washington © Reuters/HANNAH MCKAY U.S. President Trump speaks to reporters about stock market gains at the White House in Washington

Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania arranged for Trump to meet Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a Justice Department official who Trump considered naming to replace Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen earlier this month, the newspaper reported.

Clark, the Times reported, was sympathetic to Trump's "Stop the Steal" campaign, and he met with Perry to discuss a plan to have the Justice Department send Georgia a letter disclosing the department would be investigating the election results.

Reuters has not independently verified the details of the New York Times report, which cited several anonymous former officials. Neither Perry nor Clark, who served as head of the Environment and Natural Resources Division before becoming the acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Division in September, could immediately be reached for comment.

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In a statement to the New York Times, Clark declined comment on his relationship with Perry, and denied trying to oust Rosen, saying he had participated in "a candid discussion of options and pros and cons with the president."

On Saturday, the Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson saying it was launching a congressional probe into Trump and Clark's actions, and asked for the department to turn over documents and communications to help assist their inquiry.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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