Leaders of pro-Trump groups Oath Keepers, Proud Boys subpoenaed in Jan. 6 Capitol riot probe
The bipartisan House panel is probing the facts and causes of the riot, when hundreds of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol. © Provided by CNBC Proud Boys members Enrique Tarrio, left, and Joe Biggs march during a December 12, 2020 protest in Washington, D.C. Tarrio was later arrested for acts committed at the protest and Biggs was later arrested for his involvement in the storming of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington. D.C., U.S. Picture taken December 12, 2020.
The Jan. 6 select committee is gearing up to hold a former top Trump administration official in contempt of Congress, a spokesperson for the panel announced Monday. © J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo The House select committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol plans to hold Jeffrey Clark in contempt.
The House’s panel investigating the Capitol attack is poised to target Jeffrey Clark, who helmed the Justice Department’s environmental division during Trump’s presidency. If the full House greenlights the move, Clark will become the second person referred to the Justice Department on contempt charges for refusing to comply with the probe — after ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon.
Jan. 6 panel sets contempt vote for former DOJ official
WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection will vote Wednesday to pursue contempt charges against a former Justice Department official, seeking criminal charges against a defiant witness for a second time after holding former White House aide Steve Bannon in contempt last month. The committee on Monday scheduled a vote to pursue contempt charges against Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department lawyer who aligned with President Donald Trump as he tried to overturn his defeat. Clark appeared for a deposition Nov.
On Nov. 5, Clark appeared for a deposition with Jan. 6 committee investigators. But he refused to answer their most pressing questions, and instead presented them with a twelve-page letter saying he believed executive privilege shielded him from sharing information. The panel rejected that argument.
According to the announcement, the committee will have a business meeting on Wednesday. At that business meeting, members will review a report detailing the case for contempt against Clark. The panel will then likely vote to pass the matter to the House floor, where a vote is all but certain to refer Clark’s case to the Justice Department for criminal charges.
Clark participated in former President Donald Trump’s strategizing to try to reverse the results of the 2020 election. According to documents and witness testimony provided to Congressional investigators, he urged two other top DOJ officials to send a letter to state lawmakers in the last weeks of the Trump administration, claiming the FBI had found evidence of major voter fraud. Those officials refused, as the FBI had found no such evidence.
Ex-DOJ Official Jeffrey Clark in Jan. 6 Committee's Crosshairs as Contempt Vote Date Set
Clark, who was still a member of Trump's administration during the insurrection, supported efforts to delegitimize the election results.Clark aligned with former President Donald Trump when he falsely insisted the election results were not genuine. The Associated Press reported that the former Justice Department official appeared for a deposition November 5, but refused to answer any questions, partly due to Trump's legal attempts to block the investigation.
Trump and Clark also discussed the possibility of removing the acting attorney general and installing Clark in his place, witnesses have testified. Top lawyers in the White House and DOJ threatened to quit en masse if that removal happened. The idea never came to fruition.
The Jan. 6 committee moved to hold Bannon in contempt in October, a move followed quickly by a full House vote to hold him in contempt and refer the matter to DOJ. On Nov. 12, the U.S. attorney for D.C. announced the department would bring criminal charges against the former Trump strategist –– two misdemeanor counts. Bannon has pleaded not guilty, and a status conference is set for Dec. 7.
Bannon and Clark aren’t the only two Trump allies to draw the committee’s ire. Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff on the day of the Capitol riot, has also refused to sit for a deposition with investigators. His lawyer wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that he offered to answer written questions, but that the committee did not accept that offer. The committee’s announcement on Clark did not offer any foreshadowing about Meadows.
Mark Meadows sues Jan. 6 committee after panel vows contempt proceedings .
Former President Donald Trump's one-time chief of staff is refusing to cooperate with the committee, reversing an earlier decision to engage.In the lawsuit, which names members of the Jan. 6 committee and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as defendants, Meadows asked the court to invalidate two “overly broad” and “unduly burdensome” subpoenas that he said the panel issued without legal authority.