Ex-Trump Justice official Clark faces legal disciplinary charges

·3-min read
U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol holds public hearing in Washington

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Legal licensing authorities in Washington announced on Friday they have filed disciplinary charges against Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a former Trump administration Justice Department official who tried to get himself appointed as attorney general to help promote Donald Trump's false election fraud claims.

Clark, who is now also facing a federal investigation into his conduct, is accused of attempting to "engage in conduct involving dishonesty" and attempting actions "that would seriously interfere with the administration of justice," according to a petition filed by the D.C. Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

The ethics charges, dated June 29 and received by the Bar of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals on July 19, were made public on Friday, after Clark was served a copy of them in the morning, said Hamilton "Phil" Fox, the head of the D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

Rachel Semmel, a spokesperson from Center for Renewing America, Clark's new employer, called the charges "the latest attack on the legal qualifications of one of the only lawyers at the DOJ who had the interests of the American people at heart."

"Jeff Clark is an American hero and the media sure seems to enjoy being the press secretary for the J6 committee," she added.

This marks the second high-profile disciplinary action by the D.C. bar in recent weeks.

Last month, the same office also filed disciplinary action against former President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani over baseless claims he made in federal court alleging the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

He has since filed a response, saying the charges against him are baseless, and is due to appear for the first in a series of public hearings on Aug. 4.

In the matter against Clark, the office alleges that he violated standards of conduct governing the practice of law in Washington.

The U.S. House of Representatives committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol spotlighted how Trump sought to replace Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Clark, who was the Justice Department's top environmental lawyer, at a hearing in June.

Clark was deposed by the committee but repeatedly invoked his legal right not to answer questions that might be self-incriminating under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Earlier this year, Reuters reported that Rosen and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Rich Donoghue both appeared voluntarily to provide testimony to assist with the DC bar's probe into Clark.

The charges are focused on Clark's efforts to pressure Donoghue and Rosen to send a letter to lawmakers in Georgia falsely claiming that the Justice Department had "significant concerns" about the legitimacy of Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the state and echoing Trump's false claims of voting fraud.

Clark, who has also been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general, had his home searched by federal agents in a pre-dawn raid last month.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington; Writing by Susan Heavey and Katharine JacksonEditing by Tim Ahmann and Matthew Lewis)

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