The Congressional committee investigating the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill on Wednesday assigned a former Justice Department lawyer who played a key role in then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election .
The summons seeks sworn testimony and records from Jeffrey Clark, the former acting head of the Justice Department’s civil division, by October 29.
“The select committee needs to understand all the details of efforts within the previous administration to delay certification of the 2020 election and amplify misinformation about election results,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the committee, in a statement. “We need to understand Mr. Clark’s role in these efforts at the Department of Justice and who was involved in the administration. The select committee expects Mr. Clark to cooperate fully with our investigation.
A nearly 400-page report released by the Senate Judiciary Committee last week presented a detailed timeline of Trump’s campaign to pressure DOJ officials to help him try to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. The report’s findings are based on testimony from three former DOJ officials as well as documents and emails.
The report indicated that Trump wanted to replace Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Clark, who devised a strategy with the president for the DOJ to intervene in the nomination of presidential voters in Georgia and use that model in other states. Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue rejected Clark’s proposal.
“The select committee’s investigation revealed credible evidence that you attempted to involve the Justice Department in efforts to halt the peaceful transfer of power,” the committee said in its letter. “You have proposed that the department send a letter to state legislators in Georgia and other states suggesting they delay certification of their election results and hold a press conference announcing that the department is investigating allegations of voter fraud. “
In recent weeks, the committee has stepped up its investigation – seeking files and testimony from former key Trump administration aides as well as right-wing activists who staged rallies on or before January 6.
Trump urged his aides and allies not to comply with the committee’s demands. The former president also sought to invoke executive privilege to prevent the committee from obtaining its White House files. The Biden administration, however, rejected Trump’s request.
White House attorney Dana Remus said in a letter last Friday that the documents “shed light on the events at the White House on and around January 6 and relate to the select committee’s need to understand the facts underlying the most serious attack on federal government operations since the Civil War.