Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark will not testify Friday before the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, according to a committee aide and a source with knowledge of the matter.
Clark, a Justice Department official who was integral to helping then-President Donald Trump in his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, was given a postponement after he parted ways with his lawyer and is retaining new counsel, the committee aide said.
In addition, former Trump aide Dan Scavino has been granted a brief postponement from responding to his subpoena and is continuing to “engage” with the committee, the aide said.
The Trump allies’ testimony could help House investigators fill in the blanks about the former President’s thinking — and potentially point them to other key players around him.
Clark, a Trump-appointed environment law chief at the Justice Department, has become a major figure in the emerging narrative about behind-the-scenes efforts by Trump and his closest allies to orchestrate a leadership coup at the DOJ and peddle lies about election fraud.
While Clark was one of the prime officials within the 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.
Clark’s actions were slammed in a nearly 400-page report by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate Democrats’ lengthy staff report detailing how Trump and his allies pressured the Justice Department to overturn the 2020 election named Clark more than 200 times and cast him as the agency’s pivotal figure helping Trump, according to other witnesses from the Justice Department.
The House select committee, meanwhile, has suggested that because of Scavino’s close proximity and long history of working with the former President, he can provide useful information regarding conversations Trump had on January 5 about trying to convince members of Congress to not certify the election, the former President’s movements on January 6, and the broader communication strategy the White House had in the lead up to the January 6 rally.
He was subpoenaed by the committee earlier this month after the panel’s initial difficulty physically locating him.
The former Trump aide is among a group of ex-administration officials who had been recently instructed by an attorney for the former President to not provide any testimony or documents to the investigative panel.
The attorney for Trump has claimed that the former officials are protected “from disclosure by the executive and other privileges, including among others the presidential communications, deliberative process, and attorney-client privileges.”
President Joe Biden has so far declined to assert executive privilege on Trump’s behalf for documents the former President has sought to keep out of the hands of the select panel.
This story has been updated with additional details Thursday.
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