Investigation Of Trump DOJ Official For Election Subversion By DC Court Requested

0
623

A group of attorneys have asked the disciplinary panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals to investigate the conduct of Jeffrey Clark, a former official at the Department of Justice who, while on the job, sought to push the false notion that there were reasons to be concerned about outcome-altering fraud in last year’s presidential election. This falsity has been central to Trump’s rhetoric pretty much ever since Election Day, and it drove the Capitol riot in January. Among other actions, Clark wanted letters sent from Justice Department officials claiming to leaders in Georgia and elsewhere that federal investigators “identified concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states,” which was false.

Between Election Day and the formal certification by Congress of the presidential election results in early January, state legislators faced pressure from interests aligned with Trump and the then-president himself to intervene with a panoply of steps that would have the ultimate effect of throwing the election to Trump. Lawyers including one-time Trump team member Sidney Powell pushed lawsuits explicitly asking for Biden’s wins in certain states to get thrown out — and not a single one of these lawsuits were successful, with Powell ending up sanctioned. The coalition asking for an investigation into Clark did not specify a desired punishment for the infamous attorney in their complaint.

The complaint does insist, however, that Clark’s actions constituted a scheme to interfere with the “administration of justice,” which is prohibited by ethics rules for lawyers in Washington, D.C. The filing also notes that Clark “made false statements about the integrity of the election in a concerted effort to disseminate an official statement of the United States Department of Justice that the election results in multiple states were unreliable,” adding that although Clark’s actions “mirrored [those] of other lawyers who have been sanctioned for false statements, they operated on a considerably more dangerous scale with commensurately greater risk to our democracy.”

Longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani has already been hit with more serious consequences than those doled out against Powell: suspension from practicing law in New York and D.C. The willingness by D.C. authorities to impose consequences against Giuliani suggests that they’d be open to at least considering consequences for Clark’s behavior. Originally, when Clark put forward the plan of sending out claims that the Justice Department had singled out issues warranting concern about the integrity of the presidential election outcome, then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and then-acting deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue both outright rejected it, which lends extra weight to the observation that Clark was clearly out of line. Rosen and Donoghue have both been interviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in the context of investigations into Trump’s election meddling.