WASHINGTON — The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riots on Wednesday issued a subpoena against Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official under President Donald J. Trump who was implicated in the frenzied efforts of the U.S. Mr Trump to undo the 2020 presidential election.
The subpoena asks for testimony and data from Mr. Clark, a little-known official who repeatedly pressured his Justice Department colleagues to help Mr. Trump reverse his loss. The panel’s focus on him indicates it is deepening its investigation into the root causes of the attack, which disrupted a congressional session convened to count the electoral votes formalizing President Biden’s victory.
“The select committee needs to understand all the details about the previous administration’s efforts to delay certification of the 2020 election and amplify misinformation about the election results,” Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson said in a statement. declaration. “We need to understand Mr. Clark’s role in these efforts at the Justice Department and learn who was involved throughout the administration.”
The subpoena was the 19th to be issued in the House investigation, and it came as the panel braced itself for a possible legal battle with at least one potential witness, Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to Mr. Trump who has declined to participate. to work. Commission leaders threatened criminal charges against Bannon last week.
On Wednesday, Mr. Thompson said the panel “expects Mr. Clark to cooperate fully with our investigation.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee said last week that there was credible evidence that Mr. Clark was involved in attempts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, citing his proposal to deliver a letter to Georgia state lawmakers and others to inform them. to encourage postponing the certification of the election results .
The Senate Committee also said Mr Clark recommended holding a press conference announcing that the Justice Department is investigating allegations of voter fraud, consistent with Mr Trump’s repeated demands, despite a lack of evidence of fraud. Both proposals were rejected by senior leaders in the department.
The New York Times reported in January that Mr. Clark also discussed with Mr. Trump a plan to impeach acting attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, and use the department’s power to force state lawmakers in Georgia to overturn the results. of the presidential elections. Mr. Clark denied the report, which was based on the accounts of four former Trump administration officials who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation.
The House panel subpoena requires Mr. Clark submits documents and testifies during an October 29 impeachment.
Last week, the commission issued subpoenas to the organizers of the “Stop the Steal” rally that took place on the Capitol grounds before the violence. The panel has issued subpoenas against 11 others involved in the demonstrations, as well as four of Mr Trump’s allies who it says communicated with him before and during the attack.