Federal Authorities Search Home of Jeffrey Clark, Trump Justice Dept. Official


Federal investigators descended on the home of Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, on Wednesday in connection with the department’s sprawling inquiry into efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

It remained unclear exactly what the investigators may have been looking for, but Mr. Clark was central to President Donald J. Trump’s unsuccessful effort in late 2020 to strong-arm the nation’s top prosecutors into supporting his claims of election fraud.

The law enforcement action at Mr. Clark’s home in suburban Virginia came just one day before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol was poised to hold a hearing examining Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department after his election defeat.

The hearing was expected to explore Mr. Clark’s role in helping Mr. Trump bend the department to his will and ultimately help in a bid to persuade officials in several key swing states to change the outcome of their election results.

Mr. Trump considered and then abandoned a plan in the days just before the Jan. 6 attack to put Mr. Clark in charge of the Justice Department as acting attorney general. At the time, Mr. Clark was proposing to send a letter to state officials in Georgia falsely stating that the department had evidence that could lead Georgia to rescind its certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in that key swing state.

The search at Mr. Clark’s home also came as a federal grand jury continued to issue subpoenas to at least eight people in four different states who were involved in a plan by Mr. Trump and his allies to subvert the normal workings of the electoral process by creating fake slates of pro-Trump electors in states that were actually won by Mr. Biden.

Mr. Clark did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

Mr. Clark, who once served as the acting head of the Justice Department’s civil division, helped in late December 2020 to draft a letter to Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia stating — without evidence — that the Justice Department had identified “significant concerns” about the “outcome of the election” in Georgia and several other states. The letter advised Mr. Kemp, a Republican, to call a special session of his state’s legislature to create “a separate slate of electors supporting Donald J. Trump.”

Mr. Clark pressured the acting attorney general at the time, Jeffrey A. Rosen, to sign and send the letter to Mr. Kemp, but Mr. Rosen refused. Mr. Rosen is scheduled to testify before the House committee at its hearing on Thursday.

Katie Benner contributed reporting.

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