Federal agents searched the home of Trump’s Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark

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Federal agents raided Wednesday the home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who played a key role in President Donald Trump’s efforts to get law enforcement officials to challenge the election victory for Joe Biden.

The search was confirmed by Clark’s current employer, who said in a text message that officers dragged Clark out of his home in suburban Virginia in his pajamas early in the morning and “took his electronics.”

Asked Thursday whether federal authorities were at Lorton’s home on Wednesday, around the same time that federal agents were issuing subpoenas and taking other investigative steps across the country, a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office American in DC confirmed that “there was law enforcement activity in this general area yesterday.

“We have no comment regarding the nature of this activity, or specific individuals,” the spokesperson said.

Justice Department clash at the White House three days before the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol

Clark, an environmental lawyer, now works at the Center for Renewing America, a conservative advocacy group. His boss there, Russell Vought, who during the Trump administration was director of the Office of Management and Budget, offered this description of the research:

“More than a dozen DOJ law enforcement officials searched Jeff Clark’s home in a pre-dawn raid, put him on the street in his pajamas and took his electronics. That’s because Jeff saw fit to investigate voter fraud. This isn’t America, folks. … We support Jeff, and all patriots in this country must do the same.

Clark’s attorney, Harry W. MacDougald, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Clark’s conduct in late 2020 and early 2021 was also at the center of a Thursday afternoon hearing by the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters determined to overturn Biden’s presidential victory.

Several former top Justice Department officials have testified to Clark’s bizarre effort to volunteer, as well as the Justice Department, as defenders of Trump’s false allegations of massive voter fraud during the election. Clark offered to send a letter to officials in key states saying the Justice Department had “identified significant concerns” about the vote and that states should consider sending “a separate list of voters supporting Donald J. Trump” for Congress to approve, according to hearing testimony.

Read our live updates from the House Select Committee hearing

Clark’s actions led to a dramatic showdown at the White House on January 3, 2021, when top Justice Department officials told Trump they would step down — and many other top officials would step down as well — if the President appoints Clark in place of Acting Attorney General Jeffrey. Rosen, who refused to legitimize the fraud allegations.

The search of Clark’s home was first reported by ABC News.

It was conducted in conjunction with what appears to be a significant expansion of the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 investigation, which now extends well beyond the rioters who stormed the Capitol that day. Federal investigators are also exploring efforts by Trump and his supporters to try to reverse Biden’s victories in half a dozen key states – a plan centered on trying to create legitimacy for fake lists of surrogate voters. in Georgia, Michigan, Arizona and elsewhere.

Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward and her husband, Michael, who served as surrogate voters, received Justice Department grand jury subpoenas on Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the matter who have spoke on condition of anonymity to comment freely. They were delivered electronically.

“This is an investigation based on allegations that our clients engaged in essential activity protected by the First Amendment asking Congress for relief,” said attorney Alexander Kolodin, who represents the Wards. .

Separately, Nancy Cottle, who served as president of the Arizona effort, and Loraine Pellegrino, who served as secretary, also received subpoenas, people familiar with the matter said. Neither could be reached for comment.

Jan. 6 probe expands with new subpoenas targeting bogus voters

Also on Wednesday, federal agents served a subpoena on Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer, who served as Trump’s voter in that state, as well as a Georgia attorney and a former campaign official. Trump who worked in Arizona and New Mexico.

Many subpoenas served on Wednesday seek copies of communications with prominent figures in efforts against fake voters, according to people familiar with the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing case. .

Officials have previously said the Justice Department and FBI are looking into the issue of fake voters, which Trump and others hope could be vetted by state lawmakers in a last-ditch attempt to keep Trump on the sidelines. White House.

Until Wednesday, however, those investigative efforts seemed to mostly involve talking to people in Republican circles who knew about the plan and opposed it. The latest subpoenas and research suggest the Justice Department is now poised to interview at least some of those who allegedly agreed to continue the fake voter effort.

The public hearings conducted by the House committee are separate from the Justice Department investigation and carry no criminal or legal weight. But they cover similar ground in some cases.

Officials from Arizona and Georgia testified before the committee Tuesday about bogus voter activity and pressure to overturn election results that Trump and his entourage directed against those states.

Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Michael Kranish contributed to this report.


Washington

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