WASHINGTON — A disciplinary board is set to sanction Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department official who worked to overturn the 2020 election results, including the possibility of disbarment.
A lawsuit filed this week by the DC Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which governs attorneys in Washington, accused Mr. Clark of interfering with the administration of justice in his bid to keep President Donald J. Trump in power. .
The ethics complaint comes as the Justice Department watchdog and federal prosecutors are also examining Mr. Clark for his efforts to exercise the department’s authority to falsely persuade election officials and the American public that Mr. Trump had won the presidential race.
Mr. Clark “attempted to engage in conduct involving dishonesty” and “attempted to engage in conduct that would seriously interfere with the administration of justice,” the complaint states.
Once Mr. Clark receives the complaint, he has 20 days to respond to the charges, according to a filing by the DC Bar. Mr. Clark and his attorneys may present evidence in his defense and cross-examine witnesses. If he loses his case, the board could ultimately strip him of his law license.
Mr. Clark did not respond to a request for comment.
Rachel Semmel, spokeswoman for the Center for Renewing America, where Mr. Clark is a senior fellow, called Mr. Clark an “American hero” and said the ethics complaint was “the latest attack on the legal qualifications of one the only attorneys in the Department of Justice who had the interests of the American people at heart.
The complaint was reported earlier by Law & Crime.
Mr. Clark has flown largely under the Justice Department’s radar. In 2018, he was confirmed as head of the environment and natural resources division, and he took on the additional role of acting head of the civil division following the resignation of its head in the summer of 2020.
But he gained national attention after the New York Times reported that he participated in an attempted overthrow of Justice Department leadership in order to wield the agency’s power to keep Mr Trump in office. power.
The complaint focuses on that effort, which included John Eastman, an attorney close to Mr. Trump; Kenneth Klukowski, a White House official who began working with Mr. Clark at the Justice Department after the election; and Rep. Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, who was a key ally of Mr. Trump in Congress.
The complaint describes the numerous times Acting Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard P. Donoghue told Mr. Clark that they had found no evidence at the supporting allegations of widespread electoral fraud.
Nonetheless, the complaint says that on December 28, Mr. Clark asked Mr. Klukowski to investigate whether state legislatures could submit unauthorized voter lists to Congress.
Mr Clark allegedly used the research to write a “proof of concept letter” to Georgia state election officials, falsely stating that the fraud was affecting the state’s election results. The letter urged the state legislature to call a special session and reconsider the list of voters who voted for Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Mr. Rosen and Mr. Donoghue refused Mr. Clark’s pleas to sign and send the letter. Within a week, Mr. Clark informed them that the president planned to install him as acting attorney general, a plan that senior Justice Department officials and White House lawyers ultimately derailed.
Last month, federal investigators conducted an early morning search of Mr. Clark’s home in Virginia as part of the inspector general’s investigation into efforts by former Justice Department officials to quash the 2020 elections.
Federal prosecutors in Washington are also investigating the broader plan by Trump allies to have key swing states submit voter lists to Congress that falsely claim Trump won.