“Federal investigators descended on the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, on Wednesday in connection with the department’s sprawling inquiry into efforts to overturn the 2020 election,” The New York Times reports.
In the days before January 6 last year, Trump considered placing Clark in charge of the Justice Department, where he’d have replaced then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who — unlike Clark — was resistant to Trump’s attempts to essentially use the powers of the Justice Department to help him stay in power. A Thursday afternoon public hearing of the January 6 committee in the House was set to specifically focus upon pressure Trump imposed on then-Justice Department officials to act in accordance with his wishes. In the meantime, it was not immediately clear what precisely may have been of interest to the federal personnel who showed up at Clark’s home this week.
Clark, when still on the job in the Justice Department, wanted to send out an official letter to Georgia state officials raising the false specter of election fraud and pushing the apparent idea that the state legislature could simply put forward whatever slates of electoral votes it found to be most appropriate. The implicit hope would be for Biden’s electoral votes to eventually get thrown completely out. The letter Clark pushed also claimed that the Department of Justice had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.” No such significant concerns supported by real-world evidence had actually been identified by federal officials, although it’s been made clear — including by former Attorney General Bill Barr, whose departure preceded Rosen taking over — that federal authorities investigated the possibilities.
The letter never went out. Clark, though, wanted to send similar missives to officials elsewhere. There was a burst of law enforcement activity on Wednesday related to federal investigations into attempts to subvert the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Per the Times, “at least eight people in four different states” who were in some way involved in a scheme to assemble faked electoral votes for Trump in key swing states were hit with subpoenas. Even the current chairman of the Nevada GOP, Michael McDonald, had his phone seized by FBI agents on Wednesday.
In theory, federal authorities could’ve been worried that leaving too much time between going after McDonald, Clark, and the rest could allow somebody with critical information to become alerted to the FBI’s interest and hide it. On Wednesday, federal agents also searched homes of Brad Carver, a Georgia lawyer who participated in Georgia’s fake electoral vote scheme, and Thomas Lane, who worked for the Trump campaign.
In theory, whatever criminal exposure these recently targeted people have could be shared by the former president — meaning Trump — and his campaign. During a recent public hearing of the January 6 committee in the House, panel member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) laid out how Trump and close allies of his were involved in the attempt to assemble faked electoral votes for the then-president from states Biden won. Trump and his campaign were “directly involved in advancing and coordinating the plot to replace Biden electors with fake electors not chosen by the voters,” as Schiff explained this week.