Jeffrey Clark, who pushed election fraud claims, stonewalls House January 6 committee

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Jeffrey Clark, who pushed election fraud claims, stonewalls House January 6 committee

November 5, 2021 Sigma Mist 0

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As an alternative, Clark offered a letter from his legal professional Harry MacDougald that claimed he couldn’t present testimony till a court docket declares that his interactions with former President Donald Trump should not protected underneath attorney-client privilege or government privilege.

The committee is about to satisfy Friday to debate subsequent steps.

MacDougald, an Atlanta-based legal professional, beforehand labored on the pro-Trump lawsuits that pushed unfounded claims of election fraud.

Timeline of the coup: How Trump tried to weaponize the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election

He labored with former President Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Sidney Powell on a lawsuit towards Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger that geared toward overturning Joe Biden’s win within the state.

It was among the many dozens of unsuccessful lawsuits filed by Trump’s authorized crew after his election loss in an try in court docket to achieve traction on voter fraud.

Clark was one of many officers inside the Justice Division pushing to pursue unfounded claims of voter fraud within the weeks after the November election, and, based on officers who interacted with him, was in contact with Trump repeatedly.

To this point, Clark is one in all only some then-Trump administration officers to have obtained a congressional subpoena. Clark’s look was delayed till Friday, after he parted methods with a lawyer who was getting ready him to the Home final week.

The looks lasted about an hour and a half, throughout which era Clark and his legal professional walked out and in of the room on a number of events. Neither Clark, nor MacDougald, would reply questions as they left.

Going into the session, Clark didn’t describe his degree of cooperation with the panel.

“I am entering into,” Clark informed CNN Friday morning upon strolling into an workplace constructing.

Beforehand, Trump hasn’t tried to dam former Justice Division officers from chatting with members of Congress about his election fraud antics, and Clark would not seem to have any in depth government privilege protect accessible to him. But different officers from the Trump White Home have delayed their testimonies, and Trump is already in court docket arguing to maintain paperwork from his presidency personal.

As a sympathizer to election fraud conspiracy theories, Clark grew to become Trump’s most helpful asset contained in the Justice Division within the days earlier than January 6. Clark helped Trump devise a plan to oust the then performing legal professional basic, place himself atop the division, and have the DOJ intervene in Georgia to put aside its voting outcomes with a view to sway the state towards Trump.

When Clark’s superiors realized of his scheming with Trump in early January, they threatened to resign en masse.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee who additionally served as a Home supervisor for Trump’s impeachment associated to January 6, informed CNN beforehand he was “very keen” for Clark’s testimony.

“Clark had so much to do with this plan for January 6,” Raskin stated, “and he additionally was apparently making a play to turn out to be the Lawyer Normal, which induced an enormous variety of attorneys to say they might resign instantly. So we might get one thing just like the Saturday Night time Bloodbath that befell again through the Watergate interval.”

Raskin stated the committee is concerned with studying about any efforts behind the scenes on the Justice Division to oppose the certification of the Electoral Faculty vote, the method that was interrupted when Trump supporters violently overran the Capitol.

Heart of Senate report

Beforehand, the Senate Judiciary Committee launched its personal prolonged employees report detailing how Trump and his allies pressured DOJ to overturn the 2020 election. In that almost 400-page report, Clark’s identify seems greater than 200 occasions and casts him because the company’s pivotal determine serving to Trump, based on different witnesses from the Justice Division.

In a single notably poignant scene, the report recounts a December 26 name that Clark obtained from then performing Lawyer Normal Jeffrey Rosen, who spoke at size with the Senate committee. Rosen wished to know why Trump had talked about Clark in a earlier telephone name. When Clark informed Rosen he had beforehand met with Trump, Rosen referred to as being “flabbergasted.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which didn’t interview Clark for its investigation, described a number of different elected officers, attorneys working with Trump and even lower-level Justice Division workers who appeared to assist Clark’s efforts at DOJ.

The Senate report additionally famous a gathering simply earlier than Christmas Day the place Trump met Clark and Republican congressmen on the White Home.

However the report was unable to nail down the extent of coordination among the many election fraud theorists with out perception from inner-circle witnesses like Clark.

Handwritten notes

Along with the characters round Trump, handwritten notes of a December 27 dialogue between the President and high Justice Division officers doc that Trump stated he wished to place Clark in a management function and that Republicans in Congress may promote Trump’s election fraud theories. On the time of Clark’s push, the DOJ had already decided the voter fraud theories have been largely unfounded.

Trump’s reference to Clark, an environmental lawyer quickly filling the civil litigation management function at Justice “shocked” then-acting Deputy Lawyer Normal Richard Donoghue “as a result of Clark ‘did not have something to do with the Division’s election obligations,'” the Senate wrote, citing Donoghue’s personal testimony to the Committee.

Individually, Perry spoke to Donoghue about Clark as nicely, telling Donoghue he preferred Clark and thought Clark may “do one thing about this,” the Senate Judiciary Committee famous, once more citing Donoghue’s testimony.

By New 12 months’s, Clark was asking for an intelligence briefing about election interference and despatched Donoghue his proposal for the Justice Division to announce investigations into the vote in Georgia.

He and the DOJ management met with Trump on January 3. At that assembly, Donoghue and others informed Trump there could be mass resignations on the Justice Division if the President have been to fireside the performing legal professional basic and put Clark in cost.

All of Clark’s actions got here on the finish of December, “following private communications with Trump, together with at the least one assembly that Clark attended within the Oval Workplace with out the information of DOJ management,” the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote.

However they weren’t capable of element precisely what Trump has stated. That work could also be left for the Home investigators.

This story has been up to date with extra particulars.

Correction: An earlier model of the headline and story misspelled Jeffrey Clark’s identify

CNN’s Ryan Nobles, Annie Grayer, Melanie Zanona and Holmes Lybrand contributed to this report.

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