Then-President Donald Trump asked Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to investigate a truly wild conspiracy theory in his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, according to ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl’s upcoming book, “Betrayal.”
On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, Karl shared an excerpt of his book reporting that Jeffrey Clark, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division who schemed to help Trump use the DOJ to steal the election, presented to the then-president a new conspiracy theory alleging Chinese hacking of U.S. voting systems.
Clark believed that “wireless thermostats made in China” for Google by a manufacturer called Nest Labs “might have been used to manipulate voting machines in Georgia,” Karl wrote in his book.
Trump was “intrigued” by the bonkers allegation, according to Karl, and he directed Ratcliffe to look into it.
Clark’s conspiracy theory was mentioned in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s report on Trump’s efforts to weaponize the DOJ in his anti-election crusade.
According to the report, Clark sent Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue an email in late December demanding access to the DNI’s classified intel to investigate whether a “smart thermostat” had been used to connect a Dominion voting machine to the Chinese government.
That demand was one of two “urgent action items” Clark had presented to Rosen and Donoghue in the email. The other was an alarming proposal that the Justice Department send a letter to Georgia baselessly claiming the state’s election results were corrupt and advising the GOP-controlled legislature to replace Biden’s electors with new ones.
Listen to the excerpt from Karl’s book below: