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Donald and Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

Details: Rosen reportedly refused requests by Trump to have DOJ file briefs in support of his allies' legal challenges and to appoint special counsels to investigate baseless claims of voter fraud.

  • The Times reports that Rosen was informed that the president intended to replace him with Clark, who was echoing Trump's claims of voter fraud and calling for DOJ to open an investigation.
  • The plan was reportedly called off after interventions from DOJ and White House lawyers.
  • Clark denied to the Times that he devised any plan to oust Rosen or did anything improper.

The big picture: The Trump campaign attempted to contest Biden's win for weeks after the election was called, ultimately losing dozens of lawsuits largely based on debunked conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud.

  • In early January, Trump pressured Georgia's Republican secretary of state to "find 11,780 votes" — enough to overturn Joe Biden's win in the state — in an hourlong phone call obtained by the Washington Post.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - World

DOJ considering amnesty for foreign funding disclosure

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Department of Justice is considering an amnesty program that would allow researchers to disclose previous foreign funding without penalty, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The department is facing mounting criticism that its prosecutions of academics who failed to disclose China ties is too harsh.

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."

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