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WASHINGTON — Federal authorities raided the home of former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark on Wednesday, once at the center of Donald Trump’s efforts to nullify the 2020 presidential election, two officials said Thursday. people familiar with the matter.
The law enforcement action comes as the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol prepared to explain how Trump unsuccessfully sought to install Clark as attorney general. acting to pursue false allegations of voter fraud.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC, confirmed that law enforcement activity took place near Clark’s home, but declined to describe the purpose of the action.
Clark could not be reached for comment Thursday. His attorney did not immediately respond to inquiries.
Russell Vought, a former Trump administration official who now heads the conservative Center for Renewing America, defended Clark, who served as a senior fellow for the group. He described Thursday’s Twitter raid as a “pre-dawn raid” involving more than a dozen investigators in which Clark was placed on the street in his pajamas as authorities seized electronic devices.
“This is not America, folks,” Vought tweeted. “The militarization of government must end. Let me be very clear. We support Jeff and all patriots in this country must do the same.”
The House committee heard testimony Thursday from three former top justice officials, including former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, about Clark’s efforts to quash them by writing a letter to Georgia officials seeking to delay certification by the state of the election results.
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According to officials, Clark sought to enlist Rosen to help with Trump’s election plan, once telling Rosen that he would decline Trump’s offer to take Rosen’s place if the acting attorney general agreed to join.
The effort included a controversial January 3, 2021 Oval Office meeting when then-acting assistant attorney general Richard Donoghue warned that a mass resignation by Justice Department officials and federal prosecutors would follow if Trump decided to replace Rosen. by Clark to aid the presidential election subversion scheme.
Donoghue also testified Thursday, saying Clark persisted with the plan despite stern warnings from Rosen and Donoghue.
During the three-hour meeting, then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and assistant counsel Patrick Philbin also threatened to resign, calling Clark’s efforts to pursue the fraud allegations unfounded campaign of “murder-suicide pact”.
Clark made a brief video appearance during Thursday’s hearing, recorded from a previous meeting with the committee in which he declined to answer questions.
Asked about the letter to Georgia officials, Clark invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
“Fifth,” Clark said.
January 6 committee testimony: Is the January 6 committee sitting on explosive evidence of Trump’s role in the Capitol storming?
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Feds search VA home of former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark
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