Former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark refused to answer questions during his meeting with the House 1/6 Committee citing attorney-client privilege and executive privilege, claims that were rejected by the committee.
Clark sought to pressure the Justice Department to back up Donald Trump’s election fraud claims in a scheme to overturn the legitimate victory of President Joe Biden. Trump even considered replacing then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Clark, who would then declare the election fraudulent. His attempts to subvert the election were so detestable that senior DOJ officials agreed they would resign if Trump put Clark in charge.
As one of the chief architects of Trump’s attempt to overthrow democracy, which culminated in the violent storming of the Capitol on January 6th, Clark is of particular interest to the House 1/6 Committee. The committee subpoenaed Clark earlier this year and he actually showed up to the hearing, only to refuse to answer any questions because he falsely asserted that he is bound by attorney-client privilege and executive privilege.
Of course, Clark was never Trump’s attorney. He merely worked in the Department of Justice. Therefore, no attorney-client privilege exists. Furthermore, former presidents do not enjoy executive privilege. They lose it upon leaving office. Biden has waived executive privilege for the documents the committee has requested precisely because only a sitting president has the power to assert executive privilege.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) flatly rejected Clark’s reasons for refusing to answer questions.
“Mr. Clark’s complete failure to cooperate today is unacceptable,” Thompson said in a statement. “It’s astounding that someone who so recently held a position of public trust to uphold the Constitution would now hide behind vague claims of privilege by a former President, refuse to answer questions about an attack on our democracy, and continue an assault on the rule of law.”
Thompson went on to warn Clark that he should change his mind, lest criminal charges are referred against him.
The committee rejected Clark’s privilege claim, setting the stage for a contempt vote pic.twitter.com/oziIJQVYzI
— Katie Benner (@ktbenner) November 5, 2021
Frankly, the committee has the power to have Clark and all of Trump’s other cronies arrested now for refusing to cooperate. They sought to overthrow the Constitution and install Trump as a dictator. Our democracy is under attack and these people are walking free with the ability to continue attacking it.
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