U.S. Capitol riot: Former Trump justice official to testify before Congress Friday

U.S. President Donald Trump walks towards reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington before his departure for campaign travel to Duluth, Minnesota on September 30, 2020. Photo by Yuri Gripas/ABACAPRESS.COM

A former senior Trump’s administration Justice Department official will testify on Friday before the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, a congressional aide familiar with the probe said.

Last week, the House of Representatives Select Committee delayed testimony by Jeffrey Clark because he had retained a new lawyer.

Clark did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As with previous witnesses, Clark’s testimony will be behind closed doors.

The congressional aide spoke on condition of anonymity.

Read more: Contempt vote planned for Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack as Trump sues congressional panel

Clark, the former acting head of the Justice Department’s civil division, was a proponent of Trump’s unfounded claims that Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 election was the result of fraud.

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On Oct. 13, the committee announced it had issued a subpoena to Clark asking him to produce records and testify at a deposition by Oct. 29.

In announcing it had subpoenaed Clark, the panel said it needed to understand all the details about efforts inside the previous administration to amplify misinformation about election results.

Click to play video: 'Contempt vote planned for Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack as Trump sues congressional panel'
Contempt vote planned for Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack as Trump sues congressional panel

In January, the Justice Department’s inspector general announced his office was launching an investigation into whether Clark plotted to oust then-Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen so he could take over the department and help pursue Trump’s baseless claims by opening an investigation into voter fraud in Georgia.

Read more: Trump sues to block records related to U.S. Capitol insurrection from Congress

A U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee report found Clark also drafted a letter he wanted Rosen to approve which urged Georgia to convene a special legislative session to investigate voter fraud claims.

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Clark’s plan ultimately failed after senior department leaders threatened to resign in protest, the Senate investigation found.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Jan Wolfe in Washington; Additional reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Tim Ahmann and David Gregorio)

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