Washington —The Department of Justice should investigate whether former Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark attempted to undermine our democracy by participating in the efforts of former President Trump and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to overturn the results of the 2020 election, according to a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Clark, who reportedly was sympathetic to former President Trump’s claim that the election had been stolen, appears to have violated the same criminal laws that CREW previously alleged former President Trump and Meadows likely violated.
Like former President Trump and Meadows, Clark appears to have pressured DOJ officials to take steps designed to change the results of the election in order to help Trump win an election he had in fact lost. Based on information from recent news reports and documents made public in the last several weeks, Clark pressured then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue to push Georgia to take steps that would open the door to overturning the state’s election results. Clark also spoke directly to and met with President Trump about alleged election fraud issues without alerting Rosen, and his efforts nearly led Trump to replace Rosen with Clark.
“Jeffrey Clark appears to have taken significant actions to further Donald Trump’s and Mark Meadows’s attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 election, a campaign which fundamentally undercut the principles of democratic elections and peaceful transition of power upon which our constitutional system is based,” said CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of these potential offenses, and we respectfully request the DOJ open an investigation into Jeffrey Clark’s potentially criminal behavior.”
Under the U.S. Code, it is against the law for two or more people to “conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States,” including the right to vote for federal offices and the right to have one’s vote fairly counted. Criminal provisions of the Hatch Act also make it unlawful for anyone to try to coerce federal employees to engage in political activity, and prohibit officials from using their official authority to interfere with federal election. Clark’s actions may have violated these laws..
In July, CREW called on the DOJ to investigate whether former President Trump and Mark Meadows violated these laws. The complaint, which also noted a broader conspiracy aimed at undermining the democratic process, described the conduct of other officials and potential co-conspirators, including Clark. CREW also previously filed a complaint in January with the DOJ and the Fulton County District Attorney alleging that President Trump violated multiple laws by pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the results of Georgia’s presidential election.
“Jeffrey Clark’s conduct exemplifies the corrupt behavior and abuses of power that were permitted and often encouraged during the Trump administration,” said Bookbinder. “We urge the DOJ to take swift action to ensure all attempts to co-opt our government and subvert our democracy are fully investigated.”