Justice Department engaged in improper hiring during Trump's final days: whistleblowers

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Two whistleblowers are calling for an investigation into the U.S. Justice Department's alleged improper injection of politics into the government agency's hiring process during former President Donald Trump's final days in office.

On Wednesday, March 10, the whistleblowers penned a letter to House and Senate lawmakers, along with the Justice Department's inspector general. The whistleblowers are accusing Jeffrey Bossert Clark of implementing a botched hiring process to employ an individual who willingly supported the former president's policy on abortion. In the letter, they also noted that the person hired reportedly had "far less experience than other finalists for the job in the Civil Division," according to NPR.

Clark found himself at the center of controversy earlier this year when The New York Times released a report highlighting how he mulled over strategies to overthrow the acting attorney general to take the position himself to further Trump's agenda to invalidate election results in the state of Georgia.

The scandal opened the door for more discussions about the existence of partisan influence on critical decisions in the Justice Department. In the letter, the whistleblowers said Clark "used a timer" in the meetings and was not "particularly engaged."

"What set the successful appointee apart from the other candidates was that the appointee — unlike the others — had volunteered and was part of the DOJ litigation team defending a controversial Trump administration policy," according to their letter.

David Seide, the Government Accountability Project's senior counsel who also represents the whistleblowers used Clark's incident as an example.

"Like other instances of misconduct by departing Trump administration officials, these abuses of authority are disturbing," Seide said. "Mr. Clark's last-minute politicization of the DOJ hiring process and issuance of policy memoranda — capped by his willingness to participate in what was close to an attempted coup d'état — demands immediate, close and transparent oversight and investigations."

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