New Evidence Suggests Trump DOJ Official Conspired With White House to Overturn 2020 Election

The January 6 committee wants answers from Jeffrey Clark.

Depart of Justice official Jeffrey Clark speaks during a news conference on September 14, 2020.Susan Walsh/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department under Donald Trump, played a key role in Trump’s conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election. And new evidence obtained by the House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection suggests he was working more closely with the White House than was previously known.

In late December 2020, Clark drafted a letter that he wanted the Justice Department leadership to send to election officials in Georgia falsely stating that “the Department of Justice is investigating various irregularities in the 2020 election for President of the United States” and recommending that Georgia’s legislature convene to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state.

When DOJ leadership refused to send the letter, Trump considered replacing Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Clark. He backed down at the last-minute, but Clark’s maneuvering at the Justice Department amounted to an unprecedented attempt at interference in the 2020 election.

The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection voted on Wednesday to hold Clark in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer the committee’s questions. Among the key questions the committee wants answered: to what extent did Clark coordinate his election subversion letter with the White House?

“I also wanted to ask him about metadata in that draft letter that indicates some involvement with the White House Communications Agency [in] the drafting or preparation of that letter,” the January 6 committee’s chief counsel said at a November 5 deposition for Clark, which was first reported by Rachel Maddow on Friday night.

This suggests that the White House may have played a role in crafting Clark’s letter, which was drafted shortly before Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2, 2021, and told him to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn Biden’s victory in the state—a call that is now under criminal investigation by the district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia.

Clark was expected to plead the Fifth Amendment—a possible acknowledgment of having knowledge of criminal activity—in response to the January 6th committee’s subpoena during a scheduled deposition on Saturday, but due to a “medical condition” the meeting has been postponed until December 16.   

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate