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Former DOJ Official Could Be 2nd Person Charged With Contempt By Jan 6th House Select Committee

Former DOJ Official Could Be 2nd Person Charged With Contempt By Jan 6th House Select Committee

The House Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection is preparing to vote on a criminal contempt of Congress referral for former top Department of Justice official, Jeffrey Clark, the panel announced Monday. The committee plans to meet Wednesday night to vote on a report recommending that the full House refer Clark to the Justice Department on criminal contempt charges. A House vote has not yet been scheduled.

If the Committee moves to hold Clark in contempt, he would become the second person to potentially face criminal charges for refusing to provide critical information to investigators under subpoena. Trump ally Steve Bannon is currently awaiting trial for a misdemeanor criminal contempt charge after he refused to show up for a deposition or provide documents to the committee, citing executive privilege claims made by Donald Trump.

Clark pushed false claims of voter fraud in the weeks after the November election, and, according to officials who interacted with Clark, he was also in touch with Trump. Kenneth Klukowski, former senior counsel to Clark, also has been subpoenaed by the committee. Clark also helped Trump draw up a plan to oust the then-acting attorney general, place himself atop the department and have the DOJ intervene in Georgia to set aside its voting results in order to sway the state toward Trump. When Clark’s superiors learned of his scheming with Trump in early January, they threatened to resign en masse.

Unlike Bannon, Clark appeared for an interview with the committee in early November but refused to answer any questions. Instead, Clark provided a letter from his attorney that claimed he could not provide testimony until a court declares that his interactions with Trump are not protected under attorney-client privilege or executive privilege.

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Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) said in a statement following Clark’s appearance that he had considered and rejected Clark’s claim that he didn’t have to answer questions under subpoena. “He has a very short time to reconsider and cooperate fully,” Chairman Thompson said. “We need the information that he is withholding, and we are willing to take strong measures to hold him accountable to meet his obligation.”

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