WASHINGTON – The House committee investigating the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill issued a subpoena on Wednesday to Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official under President Donald J. Trump who participated in the efforts Mr Trump’s frenzy to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.
The summons seeks testimony and records from Mr. Clark, a little-known official who has repeatedly urged his colleagues in the Department of Justice to help Mr. Trump mend his loss. The panel’s focus on him indicates that it is deepening its examination of the root causes of the attack, which disrupted a session of Congress called to count the electoral votes formalizing President Biden’s victory.
“The select committee needs to understand all the details of efforts within the previous administration to delay certification of the 2020 election and amplify misinformation about election results,” said Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and President of the committee, in a press release. “We need to understand Mr. Clark’s role in these efforts at the Department of Justice and who was involved in the administration.”
The subpoena was the 19th issued in connection with the House inquiry, and it came as the panel braced for a potential legal battle with at least one potential witness, Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to Mr. Trump who refused to cooperate. Committee leaders threatened last week to bring criminal charges against Mr Bannon in response.
On Wednesday, Mr. Thompson said the panel “expects Mr. Clark to cooperate fully with our investigation.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee said last week that there was credible evidence Mr Clark was involved in efforts to halt the peaceful transfer of power, citing his proposal to deliver a letter to Georgia state lawmakers. and others encouraging them to delay certification of election results. .
The Senate committee also said Mr Clark recommended holding a press conference announcing that the Justice Department is investigating allegations of electoral fraud, in line with repeated requests by Mr Trump, despite the lack of evidence of fraud. . Both proposals were rejected by senior ministry officials.
The New York Times reported in January that Mr. Clark also discussed with Mr. Trump a plan to oust Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen and to exercise the department’s power to force lawmakers into the State of Georgia to annul the results of the presidential election. Mr Clark denied the account, which was based on accounts from four former Trump administration officials who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.
The House panel subpoena requires Mr. Clark to produce records and testify in a deposition on October 29.
Last week, the committee issued subpoenas to the organizers of the “Stop the Steal” rally that took place on the Capitol grounds before the violence. The panel issued subpoenas to 11 other people associated with the rallies as well as four allies of Mr. Trump who it said were in communication with him before and during the attack.