The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has obtained evidence suggesting that the Trump White House was in on the letter that was drafted by then-Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to pressure officials in Georgia towards undermining the presidential election outcome in their state, where Biden won. Clark’s testimony is currently being sought by the riot investigation committee, before which he previously appeared, refusing to answer substantive questions. He’s set to appear again and has indicated that he plans to invoke Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination — but House members are still pushing a contempt referral targeting him anyway, apparently covering for the perhaps likely event that his interactions with the panel once again fall apart.
Just in: Former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, after agreeing to testify to Jan. 6 committee on Saturday, conveniently now announces he has a medical condition that means he can’t appear tomorrow after all
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) December 3, 2021
The letter in question, which was never actually sent out, claimed that federal authorities had uncovered reasons to suspect the legitimacy of the outcome of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, which was false. Now, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has helped reveal that the riot investigation committee’s chief legal counsel hoped to ask Clark (in their own description) about metadata “in that draft letter that indicates some involvement with the White House Communications Agency [in] the drafting or preparation of that letter.”
BREAKING: January 6th Committee finds White House metadata on Jeffrey Clark letter pushing Georgia to overturn Trump's election loss. pic.twitter.com/134Cg9NYZW
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) December 4, 2021
Thus, it appears as though officials in Trump’s administration were personally involved in the “drafting or preparation” of a scheme to go after Biden’s election victory in Georgia. Besides the false claim about non-existent evidence of systematic election issues, Clark’s proposed letter also included a suggestion for officials to kickstart a special state legislative session to examine the supposed concerns. Then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and then-acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue both flatly refused to sign onto Clark’s letter.
Jeffrey Clark made a play to become Trump’s AG by turning the Big Lie into DOJ policy. Now he defies a Congressional subpoena. I voted with the @January6thCmte to refer him for criminal contempt.
— Rep. Jamie Raskin (@RepRaskin) December 2, 2021
Around the country, state legislators in areas where Biden won faced pressure to appoint members of the electoral college from their respective locales that would back Trump instead of Biden. It’s members of the electoral college who cast formal votes for president that are certified by Congress, with each state’s delegation voting in line with whichever candidate won the popular vote back home. Replacing Biden-backing electoral college members with Trump ones would amount to brazenly setting aside the documented will of the people.
The Jan 6 committee just voted to recommend the House hold Jeffrey Clark in contempt.
Clark has direct knowledge of Trump’s efforts to utilize the DOJ to prevent a peaceful transfer of power.
By refusing to appear, he's violating the law. He will be held accountable.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) December 2, 2021
Although individuals like Clark have thrown wrenches in the riot investigation committee’s work with their antics, the inquiry is nonetheless moving steadily forward. The committee has already heard from over 250 witnesses, and multiple weeks of public hearings are being planned for next year.
A year before top DOJ lawyer Jeffrey Bossert Clark tried to help Donald Trump overturn the presidential election results, he sought to delay one of the biggest water pollution cases in U.S. history.
Fascinating look at a very unusual DOJ insider. https://t.co/g2gfLcz50M
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 3, 2021