Jan. 6 committee subpoenas former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, accused of attempting to overturn 2020 election

  • In Politics
  • 2021-10-13 23:27:00Z

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has issued a subpoena to former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who lawmakers say repeatedly attempted to use his position to overturn the 2020 election and "interrupt the peaceful transfer of power."

Clark, who briefly oversaw the department's Civil Division during the final days of the Trump administration, has emerged as a central figure in the former president's efforts to deny President Joe Biden's election.

"The Select Committee needs to understand all the details about efforts inside the previous administration to delay the certification of the 2020 election and amplify misinformation about the election results," committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said. "We need to understand Mr. Clark's role in these efforts at the Justice Department and learn who was involved across the administration. The Select Committee expects Mr. Clark to cooperate fully with our investigation."

Last week, Clark was featured prominently in a damning Senate Judiciary Committee report that found he attempted to countermand the top leaders at the department by drafting a letter to Georgia officials seeking to delay the state's certification of election results.

"Moreover, he recommended holding a press conference announcing that the department was investigating allegations of voter fraud despite the lack of evidence that such fraud was present," Thompson said. "Both proposals were rejected by department senior leadership for lacking a factual basis and being inconsistent with the department's institutional role."

Clark could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

More: Timeline: How the storming of the U.S. Capitol unfolded on Jan. 6

Committee members said they are contemplating a contempt of Congress case against former Trump aide Steve Bannon, who indicated he would defy a subpoena for records and testimony because Trump is asserting executive privilege.

Committee lawyers are negotiating deposition rules with attorneys for three other Trump aides who have been subpoenaed: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino and Kash Patel, the chief of staff to the acting defense secretary on Jan. 6.

The committee hopes to take depositions this week, but none have been formally announced.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., tweeted Wednesday he was "looking forward to Steve Bannon's deposition tomorrow, and receiving all the testimony and evidence we subpoenaed. This is a legal order as well as a civic duty to share info about the most sweeping violent attack on Congress since the War of 1812."

Bannon, however, has no plans to show.

Since Jan. 6, Trump and allies have done whatever they can to downplay and whitewash the violent events of that day, and criticized congressional efforts to investigate what really happened. Trump has called the investigation "the Unselect Committees Witch Hunt on the events of January 6th."

Meanwhile, the White House reaffirmed its intention not to assert executive privilege sought by former President Donald Trump that would block documents from being provided to the Jan. 6 investigating committee.

"The President instructs you... to provide the pages identified as privileged by the former President to the Select Committee," White House Counsel Dana Remus wrote Friday to the U.S. archivist. "In light of the urgency of the Select Committee's need for the information, the President further instructs you to provide those pages 30 days after your notification to the former President, absent any intervening court order."

Remus' letter was dated Oct. 8 but released on Wednesday.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jan. 6 panel subpoenas ex-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark


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