Federal agents raided the home of Jeffrey Clark, a senior Justice Department official who pushed Donald Trump’s unfounded election fraud claims, on Wednesday as part of a sprawling federal investigation into last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.
It happened a day before the House January 6 committee was due to highlight Trump’s failed efforts to pressure Justice Department officials and a plan to install Clark as attorney general.
They arrived at his suburban Virginia home in the early morning, according to several reports.
An ally, Russ Vought, who headed the Office of Management and Budget in the Trump White House, said Clark had to stand in the street in his pyjamas.
‘The new era of criminalizing politics is worsening in the US,’ tweeted Vought.
‘Yesterday more than a dozen DOJ law enforcement officials searched Jeff Clark’s house in a pre-dawn raid, put him in the streets in his PJs, and took his electronic devices.’
Attorneys for Clark did not respond to requests for comment.
Federal agents reportedly searched the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former Department of Justice lawyer who former President Donald Trump considered installing as attorney general in the days before the January 6 Capitol riot as part of an effort to overturn the election
Thursday’s January 6 committee hearing will examine the role of the Department of Justice in efforts by Trump loyalists to reverse the result of the 2020 election
Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, confirmed the existence of law enforcement activity on Wednesday in Lorton, Virginia, where Clark lives, but would not elaborate on the purpose.
Thursday’s hearing is expected to explore Clark’s alleged role in helping Trump use the Department of Justice in key swing states to change the election results.
In the days running up to the January 6 violence, Trump considered a proposal to appoint Clark as acting attorney general.
Emails previously released by the January 6 committee, reveal how Clark proposed to send a letter to officials in Georgia claiming falsely that the Department of Justice had evidence of voter fraud that could reverse Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
His letter to Governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, urged him to call a special session of the Georgia legislature to create a separate slate of electors backing Trump.
‘History is calling,’ Clark, a relatively junior official, told the president at the White House on January 3 according to a deposition given by Richard Donoghue, deputy attorney general, and excerpted in a court filing.
‘This is our opportunity. We can get this done.’
In the event, Trump decided not to promote Clark amid warnings that hundreds of DOJ officials would resign if he did so.
Donoghue is scheduled to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives select committee on Thursday afternoon, with the then Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, and former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel Steven Engel.
They are expected to say that the DOJ was not presented with any evidence of widespread fraud that could have affected the outcome of the election.
Trump’s acting Attorney General during the Capitol riot Jeff Rosen will testify to the January 6 select committee on Thursday that there was never any solid proof to support Donald Trump’s election fraud claims. ‘Some argued to the former president and public that the election was corrupt and stolen. That view was wrong then and it is wrong today, and I hope our presence here today helps reaffirm that fact,’ he said in a prepared statement
Rosen’s ex-deputy Richard Donoghue and former Trump attorney Steven Engel will testify during the fifth day of hearings on Thursday. Donoghue will detail his warning to Trump that ‘hundreds’ of DOJ employees would quit if he tried to replace Rosen with someone who would support his fraud claims
‘Some argued to the former president and public that the election was corrupt and stolen,’ Rosen said in a prepared statement for the panel obtained by the Associated Press.
‘That view was wrong then and it is wrong today, and I hope our presence here today helps reaffirm that fact.’
The committee’s deputy chair Liz Cheney denounced the proposed letter as a lie in her opening statement.
‘The Department of Justice had, in fact, repeatedly told President Trump exactly the opposite, that they had investigated his stolen election allegations and found no credible fraud that could impact the outcome of the election.’ she said.
Thursday’s hearing is the fifth this month, and will prove how Trump tried to use the department for his own ends.
In a fiery speech outside the White House On January 6, Trump urged his supporters to help overturn his election defeat.
They later stormed the Capitol, sending lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence fleeing for their lives.
Four people died, one shot by police and the others of natural causes.
More than 800 people have since been arrested in connection with the violence.