A new report from The Guardian outlines how criminal charges could be on the horizon for Jeffrey Clark, a former top official at the Justice Department who promoted Trump’s conspiracy theories about the integrity of last year’s election during his time there. Clark repeatedly sought to gin up official Justice Department support for the election conspiracy theories, despite the fact that credible authorities have repeatedly and consistently found that last year’s presidential election was fundamentally secure. It wasn’t stolen for Biden. Still, Clark wanted a letter sent out from the Justice Department to officials in Georgia, telling them that federal investigators had uncovered reasons to doubt the integrity of the election outcome — although such was false.
Clark, whose conspiring against the election outcome went on from there, was also considered by Trump as a potential replacement for then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who resisted pressure from the then-president to act in defense of his bonkers election conspiracy theories. Now, Clark is facing an investigation from Michael Horowitz, who is the current inspector general overseeing Justice Department operations. The Guardian notes that it’s “unclear when the inspector general inquiry will be concluded, but depending on the findings, a criminal referral could result.” The investigation has apparently been underway since January.
Clark is also facing scrutiny on other fronts. For instance, the Senate Judiciary Committee recently issued an interim report amid its own investigation into attempts to use the powers of the Justice Department for Trump’s personal ends, and concurrently, the committee has asked for an investigation into Clark from the D.C. Bar’s disciplinary counsel. Clark faced a similar request for an investigation just days prior, with the group behind that other request including former Justice Department officials. Potential outcomes include Clark’s disbarment. In general, there’s a precedent for lawyers involved with Trump’s election schemes facing consequences — longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani, for instance, is currently suspended from practicing law in both D.C. and New York. Other Trump-aligned attorneys, like Sidney Powell, have faced sanctions.
Clark was recently subpoenaed by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, with committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) indicating over the weekend that the subpoena was issued after attempts to obtain Clark’s voluntary testimony failed. Former Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich told The Guardian that it’s “no mystery why Clark is playing hard to get with Congress,” considering he “faces a meaningful threat of criminal liability based on the facts contained in the Senate report.” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, added that “Clark’s testimony under oath will be very important to arrive at the full truth, which is why it’s very hard to imagine he avoids testifying – either before Congress or a grand jury.”