Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue walked into the Oval Office on the evening of Jan. 3, 2021, in muddy boots, jeans and an Army T-shirt to try to persuade the president not to fire his boss and unleash chaos in the U.S. Justice Department.

Donoghue, who was not expecting to be called into the White House that Sunday, appeared at a hastily arranged meeting to prevent former President Donald Trump from installing Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark, who was supportive of the former president’s false claims of election fraud, as the acting attorney general.