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US watchdog probes if Department of Justice officials tried to overturn election

The US Justice Department’s inspector general is launching an investigation to examine whether any former or current department officials “engaged in an improper attempt” to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz says the investigation will probe allegations concerning the conduct of former and current Justice Department officials, but it will not extend to other government officials.

The investigation comes after The New York Times reported that a former assistant attorney general, Jeffrey Clark, had been discussing a plan with then-president Donald Trump to oust the acting attorney general, try to challenge the results of the 2020 presidential race, and suggest falsely that there had been widespread election fraud.

The announcement of the investigation comes two days after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer demanded the inspector general launch a probe “into this attempted sedition.” The New York Democrat said it was “unconscionable a Trump Justice Department leader would conspire to subvert the people’s will.”

Election officials across the country, along with Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, have confirmed there was no widespread fraud in the election. Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states won by Biden, also vouched for the integrity of the elections in their states. Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two tossed by the Supreme Court, which includes three justices nominated by Trump.

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