Former Justice Department official who backed unfounded voter fraud claims parts with lawyer

Former Justice Department official who backed unfounded voter fraud claims parts with lawyer
Yuri Gripas/Pool/Getty Images

Former Justice Department official Jeffery Clark, who is scheduled to testify on Friday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, has parted ways with his attorney Robert Driscoll, according to a person familiar with his representation.

It is not clear who is representing Clark now in his dealing with the committee or if that will impact his highly anticipated appearance, though it does raise questions about whether he will show up as scheduled.

Clark was one of the prime officials within the Justice Department pushing to pursue unfounded claims of voter fraud in the weeks after the November election.

His attempts were rebuffed by acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen and his deputy Richard Donoghue. Both Rosen and Donoghue have cooperated with the committee.

The news of Clark’s counsel change was first reported by Politico.

Clark’s long-pursued testimony could help House investigators fill in the blanks about then-President Donald Trump’s own thinking — and potentially point them to other key players around Trump. Though he has emerged as a central figure in Trump’s efforts to enlist the Justice Department to help overturn the results of the 2020 election, Clark has yet to speak at length on the record about the matter.

As a sympathizer to election fraud conspiracy theories, Clark became Trump’s most useful asset inside the Justice Department in the days before January 6. Clark helped Trump devise 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.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin, a member of the committee who also served as a House manager for Trump’s impeachment related to January 6, told CNN this week he was “very eager” for Clark’s testimony.

“Clark had a lot to do with this plan for January 6,” Raskin said Tuesday, “and he also was apparently making a play to become the attorney general, which caused a huge number of lawyers to say they would resign immediately. So we would get something like the ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ that took place back during the Watergate period.”

Clark’s parting with his lawyer comes three weeks after the Senate Judiciary Committee released its own lengthy staff report detailing how Trump and his allies pressured the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election. In that nearly 400-page report, Clark’s name appears more than 200 times and casts him as the agency’s pivotal figure helping Trump, according to other witnesses from the Justice Department.

In one particularly poignant scene, the report recounts a December 26 call that Clark received from Rosen, who spoke with the Senate committee. Rosen wanted to know why Trump had mentioned Clark in a previous phone call. When Clark told Rosen he had previously met with Trump, Rosen recalled being “flabbergasted.”

Sen. Dick Durbin, the Democratic chair of the judiciary committee, called Clark’s efforts “the most brazen examples of President Trump attempting to bend the Department of Justice to his will and his agenda. But they were the natural culmination of four years of attacks on the Department of Justice,” he said at a hearing on Capitol Hill this week.

This story has been updated.

The-CNN-Wire
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