DOJ raids home of former official who helped alleged pro-Trump ‘coup’
The research appears to intensify DOJ investigations into Trump allies and associates. For months, the department has been scrutinizing people connected to the so-called Alternative Voter Program — where Republicans in states Joe Biden won in 2020 sent lists of pro-Trump voters to Washington. A number of Republicans across the country have registered as so-called surrogate voters.
In late 2020, Clark urged then-Attorney General Jeff Rosen to send a letter to senior Georgia officials calling for a special session of the legislature. The letter claimed the department had found evidence of voter fraud that could have changed the outcome of the presidential race in several states – which was not true – and also implied that the Georgian legislature could hold a special session overriding the result. declared of his presidential election. ballot to send pro-Trump voters to Washington.
A key question regarding Clark’s research is whether it happened due to his connection to the Substitute Voters system or due to other actions that are not currently known to be under investigation. by the Ministry of Justice. Regardless, it is rare for former senior administration officials, especially the DOJ, to come under the scrutiny of law enforcement.
Clark’s research isn’t the only recent indication of growing 2020 election-related law enforcement activity: Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward and her husband Michael received grand jury subpoenas, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The development suggests a full DOJ investigation into an effort by Republican Party officials to provide fake voter lists to Congress. Both Michael and Kelli Ward were among pro-Trump activists who signed certificates claiming to be Trump’s duly elected and qualified voters from Arizona.
“This is an investigation based on allegations that our clients engaged in essential activity protected by the First Amendment by asking Congress to redress their grievances,” said Alexander Kolodin, attorney for the Wards.
The Clark-related activity came just before the Jan. 6 congressional select committee held a public hearing that scrutinized him and other allies of the former president. This hearing was originally scheduled for June 15 but was postponed. Some panel members attributed the delay to difficulties in producing videos for this session and others.
The hearing revealed new details about how Clark quickly established himself at the top level of Trump World. As Jan. 6 approaches, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has suggested that Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen send Clark to Fulton County, Georgia, as part of the election work of the department, according to a Jan. 1 email. 2021, summarized by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.).
The email suggested that Meadows, at least in this case, tried to micromanage Justice Department investigations into alleged voter fraud.
When asked what he did in response to the Chief of Staff’s missive, Clark was candid. “Well, really, nothing,” he replied. “Certainly not sent Mr. Clark to Fulton County.”
The panel also revealed that in some corners of the White House, Clark’s rise to acting attorney general was taken for granted. A White House document produced before the infamous meeting showed him as the “acting attorney general.”
Videos and testimony at the hearing also described a meeting on Jan. 3, 2021, which turned into a dog pile on Clark over his involvement in promoting false allegations of fraud. Eric Herschmann, who was a White House attorney at the time, described in footage released by the select panel that he called Clark a “hole” during the meeting. The remark came after Clark explained how he would use a grand jury to investigate Trump-backed fraud allegations.
“When he was done discussing what he was planning to do, I said fine – fuck excuse me, sorry, asshole – congratulations,” Herschmann said in recorded testimony recalling his conversation with Clark. “You have just admitted that the first step or act you would take as Attorney General would be to commit a crime and violate Rule 6(e). You are clearly the right candidate for this position.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), who previously criticized the DOJ for what he perceived to be a lack of urgency to investigate Trump-related conduct, said public indicators over the past 48 hours have changed his point of view.
“I think the certainty of the department is now visibly investigating some elements of this conspiracy,” Schiff said before the hearing, but after the search of Clark’s home was reported. “That’s what I was referring to when I said that although the Department of Justice has a policy of not talking about an ongoing investigation, you can usually see the signs of it with the summons to a grand jury or the execution of a search warrant or the serving of subpoenas. And now we’re starting to see some of that activity, and we’re moving beyond the attention to those who entered breaking into this building on January 6.”
Select committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) declined to comment on Clark’s raid before the hearing, saying he just heard about it. Vice President Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) also declined to discuss the matter.
Ken Klukowski, a Clark deputy described by Cheney as linked to writing the letter to the states, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Vought tweeted that the raid on Clark’s house was “[a]ll because Jeff saw fit to investigate voter fraud. This isn’t America, folks. He also wrote that his organization supported Clark and that the raid was part of a “new era of criminalization of politics” in the United States.
Clark, now a senior fellow with the group where Vought is chairman, led the DOJ’s environment and natural resources division for much of the Trump administration. ABC News first reported that federal agents searched Clark’s home in Lorton, Va., on Wednesday morning.