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Jan. 6 panel to vote on contempt against former DOJ official – The Denver Post – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-12-01 10:21:58 –

By MARY CLARE JALONICK

Washington (AP) — The House Committee investigating the January 6th U.S. Capitol riots is actively seeking answers to violent attacks by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Vote for the pursuit of contempt against former Justice Department officials on Wednesday.

Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, then Trump’s chief aide, voted to prosecute Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice lawyer who formed an alliance with Trump when he tried to overturn his election defeat. I agreed to cooperate with the panel. Limited standards. Clark appeared in the testimony record last month, but refused to answer the question based on Trump’s legal efforts to thwart the Commission’s investigation.

If approved by the panel, the criminal insult recommendation against Clark will immediately go to Full House for voting on Thursday. If the House of Representatives votes to insult Clark, the Department of Justice decides whether to prosecute.

Members of the panel on January 6 vowed to detain witnesses who did not obey insults as they were investigating the worst attacks on the Capitol in the second century. The Justice Department has indicated that it is ready to pursue these charges and charged long-time Trump ally Steve Bannon with criminal insults earlier this month.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Banon’s indictment reflected the ministry’s “firm commitment” to the rule of law after Banon completely ignored the subpoena from the Commission and refused to cooperate.

Clark’s case can be more complicated as he appeared to take testimony and, unlike Banon, was an official of the Trump administration on January 6. However, members of the committee argued that Clark had no basis for refusing the question. Some issues that do not fall under the former president’s claim of executive privilege, without direct interaction with Trump.

Trump, who told his supporters to “fight like hell” on the morning of January 6, sought to block the commission’s work and attempted to claim executive privilege over documents and interviews. From public view. As a current officer, President Joe Biden has so far rejected Trump’s allegations.

In a record of Clark’s canceled November 5 interview released by the Panel on Tuesday night, committee staff and members asked the Department of Justice to investigate his false allegations of widespread fraud. I tried to convince Clark to answer questions about his role. selection. Clark became an ally of the former president as other judicial authorities pushed back unfounded claims.

However, Clark’s lawyer, Harry McDagard, said in an interview that Clark is protected not only by Trump’s claim of executive privilege, but also by several other privileges that McDagard argued should be given to Clark. Said. The Commission rejected those discussions, and McDagard and Clark escaped from the interview about 90 minutes later.

Trump’s pressure culminated in a dramatic White House meeting in which the president argued against promoting Clark to prosecutor-general, according to a report earlier this year by the Senate Judiciary Committee interviewing some of Clark’s colleagues. bottom. He did not do so after several aides threatened to resign.

Despite Trump’s false allegations of election theft, the main motivation for violent mobs who broke into the Capitol and hampered Biden’s proof of victory, the results were confirmed by state authorities and upheld by courts. I did. In December 2020, Trump’s own Attorney General, William Barr, said the Department of Justice did not find evidence of widespread fraud that could change the outcome.

Mississippi State Assembly member Bennie Thompson, chair of the January 6 panel, said in a subpoena to Clark that the Commission’s investigation would “engage the Justice Department in efforts to thwart peaceful transfer of power. Reliable evidence has been revealed that he said, “his efforts were” at risk. ” Involve the Department of Justice in actions that threaten to overturn the rule of law without evidence. “

After Clark refused to answer the question, Thompson said, “Someone who recently took a position of public trust to uphold the Constitution is now hiding behind a vague claim of privilege by the former president to us. It is amazing to refuse to answer questions about the attack Continue the attack on democracy, and the rule of law. “

Meadows lawyer George Turwilliger, in collaboration with the Commission and its staff, does not require Meadows to waive the executive privilege Trump claims on Tuesday, or “a long-standing position that White House’s senior aide cannot. “I will not lose” said he works at the accommodation. You will be forced to testify before Congress. “

“We appreciate the openness of the selection committee for receiving voluntary answers on non-privileged topics,” Terwilliger said in a statement. He had previously said that due to Trump’s claim of privilege, Meadows would not obey the panel’s September subpoena.

Mr. Thompson said Meadows will provide the panel with a document and will soon take testimony, but the committee “will continue to assess his degree of compliance.”

Under the agreement, Meadows could potentially refuse to answer his most sensitive conversation with Trump and the panel’s questions about what Trump was doing on January 6th.

Still, Meadows’ intention to work with the Panel calls for interviews with unobtrusive witnesses who may have particularly important information to share, so the Panel’s seven Democrats and two. Republican victory. The Commission has summoned more than 40 witnesses and interviewed more than 150 in a closed room.

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The Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

Jan. 6 panel to vote on contempt against former DOJ official – The Denver Post Source link Jan. 6 panel to vote on contempt against former DOJ official – The Denver Post

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