A former senior Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) official who organized a threat of mass resignations after the 2020 election appeared to be a Never Trumper long before he sought an appointment to the administration and tried to orchestrate the resignation plot, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Former Associate Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hovakimian reportedly feared that then-President Donald Trump would fire then-Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen if he did not look into election fraud claims, and tried to organize a mass resignation if Trump did so.
However, since Trump never fired Rosen, Hovakimian’s fears went unmaterialized, and he never had the chance to carry out his threat. But he went as far as to draft an email resignation that made its way to Politico this week.
His draft resignation reportedly said:
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. … PADAG Rich Donoghue and I resign from the Department, effective immediately.
Since Trump never “removed” Rosen — as Hovakimian may have fantasized — the email was never sent.
But Hovakimian told Bloomberg on January 26 when asked about his threat to resign, which was first reported by the New York Times several days prior, “Rosen stood up for justice.” He added: “I was proud to be at the department and serve under him.”
Evidence suggests that Hovakimian opposed working for Trump before the election.
Public records show that Hovakimian co-owned property with a woman named Lindsay Hovakimian, whose maiden name is Earnhardt.
Public records also show that a ‘Lindsay Earnhardt” as early as October 2019 began donating to more than a dozen Democrat presidential, Senate, and House candidates, including Joe Biden.
Earnhardt donated to Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang multiple times, before donating to Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) and then to Biden. She then donated to a slew of Democrat Senate candidates in tight races with Republicans, including Cal Cunningham (SC), Jon Ossoff (GA), and Raphael Warnock (GA).
And Hovakimian began his public service career in 2016 with an appointment to the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission by a Republican city official who openly opposed Trump. Then-Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer said in 2016: “I could never vote for Trump…His divisive rhetoric is unacceptable and I just could never support him.”
This week, Hovakimian sat for a closed-door interview with the Democrat-run House Oversight Committee, which is investigating the last few weeks of the Trump administration and whether Trump tried to pressure the DOJ into investigating election fraud claims.
Trump has not tried to stop Hovakimian or other DOJ officials from speaking to lawmakers, but his lawyer, former Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), said he hopes the former officials will withhold information that would fall under executive privilege.
“The former president still believes those are privileged communications that are covered under executive privilege,” said in an interview with Fox News.