(Bloomberg) -- The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol plans to recommend holding in contempt of Congress a second Donald Trump ally who aided the former president’s unsuccessful efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Jeffrey Clark, a former acting assistant U.S. attorney, appeared before the committee under subpoena on Nov. 5. But Chairman Bennie Thompson has previously said Clark failed to answer questions from the panel about Trump’s pressure to investigate false 2020 election claims.
The panel, which includes seven Democrats and two Republicans, is now prepared to vote Wednesday on recommending the House hold Clark in contempt, according to an advisory sent out Monday. The panel has rejected his claim of executive privilege on behalf of Trump.
“The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will hold a business meeting to vote on a report recommending that the House of Representatives cite Jeffrey Clark for criminal contempt of Congress and refer him to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia for prosecution,” the committee said in its advisory.
The move would follow contempt action by the panel in October against Steve Bannon, who served as Trump’s chief political strategist and helped run his 2016 campaign. With the committee’s recommendation, Democrats who control the House voted to hold Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for his defiance and referred the matter to the Justice Department for prosecution.
A federal grand jury indicted him on two counts of contempt of Congress this month.
At Trump’s request, Bannon had refused to cooperate with the committee’s subpoena. Trump lawyers also have instructed several others, including former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, to defy subpoenas to testify and turn over documents to a House select committee.
Whether executive privilege grants them immunity is a question that’s likely to take some time to wind through the courts.
Some of Clark’s actions on Trump’s behalf were outlined in a Senate Judiciary Committee report on Trump’s “relentless, direct pressure on the Justice Department.”
The Senate report, which was cited in Thompson’s subpoena letter to Clark, describes him as maneuvering for the Justice Department to pressure Georgia officials, and potentially officials in other states, and warn them that the department had “taken notice” of election irregularities. Clark circulated a draft letter Dec. 28 recommending Georgia officials call a special legislative session to determine who “won the most legal votes,” and consider appointing a new slate of electors.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican, certified the state’s election results two and a half weeks after the election, saying “numbers don’t lie.”
The report also said Clark attempted to enlist other Justice Department officials to help “Trump’s election subversion scheme.” At one point, the Senate report said, Clark told former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen he would decline Trump’s offer to install him in Rosen’s place, if Rosen agreed to pursue inquiries into the unsupported allegations of election fraud in states.
The Senate report pointed out that Clark never agreed during the Judiciary Committee’s investigation to be interviewed.
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