'Unfit for public service': Trump plans to re-appoint top officials who urged 2020 election interference
Former President Donald Trump is looking to re-appoint two of his previous top leaders if elected in 2024, Rolling Stone reports.
Two people familiar with the matter told the publication the former president has his eyes on both former Department of Justice lawyer and acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Clark and former Trump advisor Michael Flynn to hold high-level positions in his potential second administration.
However, both former Trump officials played major roles in the 2024 hopeful's attempt to overturn the 2020 election, leading to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection.
READ MORE: Ethics charges filed against former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark
Walter Shaub, a senior ethics fellow at the Project on Government Oversight and former director of the Office of Government Ethics, said Flynn is "unfit for public service" and "no one should ever place him in a position of trust again," adding, "I'm surprised [Clark] is even still allowed to be a lawyer, much less a public servant."
Shaub noted, "Bringing these two back into government in high-level positions would be tantamount to a declaration of authoritarian principles by a presidential administration. To even consider it would be disgraceful and anti-American."
One of the people familiar with the matter told Rolling Stone, "[Trump] has said he believes they are both 'strong' candidates for senior positions. He's mentioned that, and some other names, a couple of times that I know of … We'll see if it happens. President Trump calls Gen. Flynn a 'hero' all the time. Why wouldn't he want a hero working for him?"
In his effort to overturn the 2020 election, according to Rolling Stone, Clark urged DOJ top officials "to send a letter to the Georgia Legislature claiming that the department had discovered 'significant fraud'" and pressured "it to create alternate slates of electors," but the ploy was curbed by the DOJ leaders.
READ MORE: Jeffrey Clark fighting to keep his license as bar investigates him for trying to overthrow 2020 election
Had the attempt succeeded, it "would've effectively endorsed bogus conspiracy theories about election fraud and given an air of official legitimacy to efforts to overturn the election."
Regarding Flynn's attempted interference with the election results, Rolling Stonereports:
The retired Army lieutenant general was an early and loud voice calling for Trump to 'declare limited martial law' and 'temporarily suspend the Constitution' and lobbied the then-president to do so in a tense Oval Office meeting alongside Sidney Powell. As Trump's legal options to overturn the election fizzled, Flynn supported the 'Stop the Steal' movement and spoke at a rally for the group alongside Alex Jones and Ali Alexander the night before the insurrection in early 2021.
The publication notes Trump's reason for seeking their leadership is part of his "professed inclination to make his theoretical second term something of a revenge tour to revive the people and policies that even some members of his own party deemed too extreme," including "his first term historic federal 'killing spree' with group executions, gallows, and firing squads, invading Mexico, and bringing back an expanded version of his 'Muslim ban.''"
READ MORE: Why Michael Flynn's $50 million 'malicious prosecution' lawsuit is so 'audacious': Rachel Maddow producer
Rolling Stone's full report is available at this link (subscription required).
- Why Michael Flynn's $50 million 'malicious prosecution' lawsuit is so 'audacious': Rachel Maddow producer ›
- 'This reeks of criminal intent': Bombshell notes expose Trump's pressure campaign on the DOJ ›
- Michael Flynn endorses 'insane' COVID-19 conspiracy theory that claims vaccines turn people into zombies ›