Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

U.S. House committee recommends contempt charge for Trump-era Justice Dept official

Sports & GeneralDec 01, 2021 08:38PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A mob of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo 2/2

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. congressional committee probing the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol voted unanimously on Wednesday in favor of contempt of Congress charges against Jeffrey Clark, a senior Justice Department official under former President Donald Trump.

The seven Democratic and two Republican members of the House of Representatives Select Committee approved a report recommending the criminal charge by a 9-0 vote, after Clark appeared before the committee in early November but declined to answer questions or hand over documents.

The committee's approval of the report paved the way for the entire House to vote on whether to recommend contempt charges, although it also gave him a last chance to cooperate later this week.

Representative Bennie Thompson, the panel's Democratic chairman, said before the vote that Clark's attorney had contacted them on Wednesday evening and said Clark had invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to self-incriminate and agreed to continue his deposition.

Thompson said the committee nonetheless was going ahead with the contempt proceeding, and had ordered Clark to appear on Saturday. "We will not allow anyone to run out the clock, and we will insist that he must appear," Thompson said.

Republican Representative Liz Cheney, the committee's vice chair, said the panel would not finalize the contempt process if Clark "genuinely cures his failure to comply" on Saturday.

Approval by the full, Democratic-controlled House would send the matter to the Department of Justice for a decision on whether to prosecute.

Clark, former acting head of the Justice Department's civil division, was a proponent of Trump's false claims that his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden in the November 2020 election was the result of fraud.

Clark had argued that he was exempt from having to comply with the Select Committee's subpoena because his communications were protected by legal privilege.


Trump has urged former aides to disregard the subpoenas, issuing often-rambling statements insulting its members and arguing that he is protected by executive privilege, a legal principle that shields presidential communications.

Legal experts dispute that argument, saying it does not apply to former presidents.

The committee has made clear it will force compliance with its subpoenas.

"There’s nothing extraordinary about Congress seeking the testimony of a former Executive Branch official. Even the former White House chief of staff (Mark Meadows) is now cooperating with our investigation," Thompson said.

Trump's longtime adviser Steve Bannon pleaded not guilty last month to two counts of contempt of Congress after he defied a committee subpoena.

Nearly 700 people have been charged with taking part in the assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6 by Trump supporters seeking to prevent Congress from formally certifying his 2020 election loss. It was the worst attack on the seat of the U.S. government since the War of 1812.

Four people died the day of the riot, and one Capitol police officer died the next day of injuries sustained while defending Congress. Hundreds of police were injured during the multi-hour onslaught, and four officers have since taken their own lives.

The Select Committee has issued at least 45 subpoenas to individuals and organizations and conducted hundreds of interviews with witnesses.

U.S. House committee recommends contempt charge for Trump-era Justice Dept official

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email