The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has issued a new subpoena for Jeffrey Clark, who served as a top official at the Justice Department during then-President Donald Trump’s attempts to use the levers of the department in support of his ambitions to stay in power beyond legal limits. Clark backed these schemes and was eventually considered by Trump as a potential replacement for Jeffrey Rosen as acting Attorney General, a move that would have provided Clark with wider leeway to use federal powers in support of Trump’s corruption. Trump backed off elevating Clark in the face of threats from top officials that they’d resign in protest.
NEW: The Select Committee has issued a subpoena to Jeffrey Clark, a former Department of Justice official reportedly involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election and interrupt the peaceful transfer of power. https://t.co/ZwneLDjp2N
— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) October 13, 2021
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who serves as chairman of the riot investigation committee, commented as follows regarding the new subpoena for Clark:
‘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. 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.’
The committee issued this subpoena on the same day that Rosen himself was reported to have been scheduled to testify before the panel. When on the job in the closing period of the Trump administration, Rosen faced pressure from both Clark and Trump to jump on-board with their ambitions of using federal powers to back an attack on the election outcome. The Senate Judiciary Committee, for instance, has documented (on Trump’s part) “at least nine calls and meetings with Rosen and/or [then-acting deputy Attorney General Richard] Donoghue starting the day former Attorney General Bill Barr announced his resignation and continuing almost until the January 6 insurrection—including near-daily outreach once Barr left DOJ on December 23,” per a press release from the committee.
Meanwhile, as summarized by a press release from the riot investigation committee, Clark also (among other things) “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.” The committee is demanding records and testimony from Clark before the end of the month. It was not immediately clear whether he’d be inclined to abide by the panel’s demands.