New Evidence Suggests Trump DOJ Official Conspired With White House to Overturn 2020 Election

Depart of Justice official Jeffrey Clark speaks during a news conference on September 14, 2020.Susan Walsh/AP

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Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department under Donald Trump, played a key role in Trump’s conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election. And new evidence obtained by the House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection suggests he was working more closely with the White House than was previously known.

In late December 2020, Clark drafted a letter that he wanted the Justice Department leadership to send to election officials in Georgia falsely stating that “the Department of Justice is investigating various irregularities in the 2020 election for President of the United States” and recommending that Georgia’s legislature convene to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

When DOJ leadership refused to send the letter, Trump considered replacing Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Clark. He backed down at the last-minute, but Clark’s maneuvering at the Justice Department amounted to an unprecedented attempt at interference in the 2020 election.

The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection voted on Wednesday to hold Clark in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer the committee’s questions. Among the key questions the committee wants answered: to what extent did Clark coordinate his election subversion letter with the White House?

“I also wanted to ask him about metadata in that draft letter that indicates some involvement with the White House Communications Agency [in] the drafting or preparation of that letter,” the January 6 committee’s chief counsel said at a November 5 deposition for Clark, which was first reported by Rachel Maddow on Friday night.

This suggests that the White House may have played a role in crafting Clark’s letter, which was drafted shortly before Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, and told him to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn Biden’s victory in the state—a call that is now under criminal investigation by the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia.

Clark was expected to plead the Fifth Amendment—a possible acknowledgment of having knowledge of criminal activity—in response to the January 6th committee’s subpoena during a scheduled deposition on Saturday, but due to a “medical condition” the meeting has been postponed until December 16.   

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