House Committee Subpoenas Trump Justice Department Ally Jeffrey Clark
The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack has slapped another ally of former President Donald Trump with a subpoena ― and this time, it’s Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department official who helped push Trump’s election fraud lies.Clark’s name came up repeatedly in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s 400-page report on Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election that was released last week.He had served in the Trump administration as assistant attorney general of the environment and natural resources division; Trump also named him acting head of the Justice Department’s civil division last fall. As had been previously reported, Clark personally met with Trump in late 2020 to plot ways the Justice Department could help Trump stay in power. The Senate report provided more details on Clark’s propositions, which included delivering a letter to state legislators in Georgia and elsewhere notifying them that the Justice Department was investigating voter fraud and encouraging them to disrupt the certification process. Clark also recommended holding a press conference to announce the department’s bogus investigation.Both ideas were knocked down by senior Justice Department officials. Nor was Clark installed as acting attorney general, as Trump had reportedly considered doing. Jeffrey Clark speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department on Sept. 14, 2020. SUSAN WALSH via Getty ImagesRegardless, the House committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), said in a statement Wednesday that the panel “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.”“We need to understand Mr. Clark’s role in these efforts at the Justice Department and learn who was involved across the administration,” Thompson said.Clark is ordered to produce documentation and appear for a hearing on Oct. 29. The committee expects him “to cooperate fully” with its investigation. Not all of its targets have done so. Last week, at Trump’s direct urging, former adviser Steve Bannon refused to comply with a subpoena from the Jan. 6 committee, which similarly required him to produce documents and appear for a hearing. Bannon cited Trump’s claim to executive privilege, saying through his attorney that he did not have the right to comply with the subpoena until the courts had addressed Trump’s claim. Trump similarly told three other former associates not to cooperate with the committee; they include his former chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Defense Department official Kash Patel and former social media chief Dan Scavino. The committee said last week that Meadows and Patel are “engaging” with its members.Citing the “unique and extraordinary circumstances” at play, White House counsel Dana Remus said last week that President Joe Biden’s administration would not help Trump shield records the committee wants on the grounds of executive privilege.