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Ex-Trump DOJ official faces disciplinary action for efforts to overturn election

By Pedro Oliveira Jr.
Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official in the Trump administration, is under legal fire for his role in the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. File Pool Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official in the Trump administration, is under legal fire for his role in the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. File Pool Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI

July 22 (UPI) -- A leading figure in the final days of Donald Trump's beleaguered White House is under legal fire for his central role in the former president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

The Washington Bar has initiated a disciplinary case against Jeffrey Clark, a former official in the Justice Department, over "conduct involving dishonesty" and attempts to "seriously interfere with the administration of justice," court documents released Friday show.

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Clark rose to infamy as the ranking official Trump wanted to install as acting attorney general in the waning days of his term, as the president spread lies of a fraudulent election in a desperate effort to cling to power.

As a presidential adviser, Clark's magnum opus came in the form of a letter he penned, intended for lawmakers in Georgia, falsely claiming the Justice Department had "identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election," court records show.

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In his letter, Clark pushed Georgia officials to convene a special legislative session to address debunked fraud claims and choose an alternate set of electors loyal to Trump.

His defense of Trump's legal theories was so vehement, the president considered installing Clark as the nation's top law-enforcement official.

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The draft document was so bombastic, a wave of senior Justice Department officials threatened to resign, including "all the assistant attorneys general," career employees and White House counsel, court records show.

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Trump eventually kowtowed to internal pressure, nixing Clark's appointment and shelving the incendiary letter.

But the damage was done: Clark now faces disbarment over the "letter containing false statements" and "conduct that would seriously interfere with the administration of justice," court documents show.

In a statement to CNN, a representative for Clark shot back at the charges.

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"This is the latest attack on the legal qualifications of one of the only lawyers at the DOJ who had the interests of the American people at heart," said Rachel Semmel, a spokeswoman for the Center for Renewing America, where Clark is a senior fellow.

"Jeff Clark is an American hero and the media sure seems to enjoy being the press secretary for the J6 committee," Semmel added, referring to the U.S. House committee investigating the insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Clark has spoken to the committee but was sparing in his testimony, repeatedly invoking his right to not answer questions under the Fifth Amendment. The panel eventually recommended charges of contempt of Congress due to his frequent refusals.

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In June, federal investigators conducted an early-morning search of Clark's home in suburban Virginia one day before the House panel held a hearing detailing his role in the Trump White House.

In an interview with Fox News, Clark said federal agents "took all of the electronics from my house" in what he called a "highly politicized" investigation.

"We're living in an era I don't recognize," he said.

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Former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger (L) and former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews are sworn in July 21, 2022 to testify before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

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