Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Monday that the investigation will investigate allegations concerning the conduct of former and current Justice Department officials but will not extend to other government officials.
Former President Donald Trump reportedly pressured the Justice Department to sign onto his "big lie" election fraud conspiracies after Bill Barr resigned and considered firing the replacement, acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, when he refused Trump's repeated entreaties.
Then, Mr. Clark would use the full weight of the Justice Department to block Congress from certifying the election results in favor of President Biden by falsely suggesting there was widespread election fraud.
Top DOJ officials appear to have put their jobs on the line to protect the integrity of the department amid the chaos of the transition.
Fresh reports of the efforts Trump considered to overturn the election in the final weeks of his term come with the former president gone from office but facing a second impeachment trial starting the week of February 8.
The justice department officials were surprised to know about these interactions with Trump as Clark did not alert Rosen earlier.
The claim was first made by the United States media house, the New York Times. As per the agency's policy, in terms of discussing any DOJ matter, the president should first communicate with the attorney general or the deputy attorney general.
Clark denied to the Times that he was involved in any plan to have Rosen removed, and said details of the talks he had with Trump had been distorted.
But "because Mr. Rosen had refused the president's entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark". Investigations by the inspector general, who can make referrals to criminal authorities, can take years to conclude and for the results to be made public.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York, on Sunday demanded Mr. Horowitz investigate the allegations.
Trump was already working with Clark to try to overturn the Georgia vote, which went 49.5 per cent for Biden and 49.3 per cent from Trump - only a 0.2 per cent margin.
"My practice is to rely on sworn testimony to assess disputed factual claims", Clark told the outlet, highlighting that he was a signer on a DoJ request that sought to reject a lawsuit that called on former US Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results.