A top Justice Department official drafted a resignation letter in 2021, fearing that then-President Donald Trump would decide to fire acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen, POLITICO reports.
"This evening, after Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen over the course of the last week repeatedly refused the President's direct instructions to utilize the Department of Justice's law enforcement powers for improper ends, the President removed Jeff from the Department," Patrick Hovakimian wrote in his letter that was ultimately never sent. "PADAG Rich Donoghue and I resign from the Department, effective immediately."
"The decision of whether and when to resign and whether the ends of justice are best served by resigning is a highly individual question, informed by personal and family circumstances," he continued. "Jeff asked me to pass on to each of you that whatever your own decision, he knows you will adhere always to the highest standards of justice and act always – and only – in the interests of the United States."
Hovakimian drafted the letter on Jan. 3, 2021, announcing his resignation, along with that of the DOJ's second-in-command, Richard Donoghue, as Trump's rhetoric targeting Jeff Rosen was ramping up. Trump ultimately didn't fire Rosen.
"The fact that Trump-era DOJ officials went that far highlights the serious pressures they faced in the waning days of the administration as the former president tried to overturn his loss in the 2020 election," POLITICO reports.
Read the full report over at POLITICO.