January 6 committee subpoenas former DOJ official who pushed election fraud lie, plans to interview another who pushed back


(CNN)The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is expected to subpoena Jeffrey Clark, a Justice Department official who was integral to helping then-President Donald Trump in his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, according to sources familiar with the matter.

CNN has also learned that former acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen is scheduled to meet with the committee Wednesday. Rosen served in the role during the final days of the Trump administration.

Both moves underscore the panel’s interest in learning more about how Trump attempted to pressure top officials to investigate claims of election fraud during the former President’s final days in office — an issue the committee has said is a focal point of its sweeping probe into the events around January 6.

    Clark and Rosen featured heavily in a recent report issued by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee that highlighted the relentlessness of Trump and some of his top advisers as they fixated on using the Justice Department to prop up false conspiracies about the election.

      Takeaways from the Senate Judiciary Committee report on Trump's attempted coup

      The Senate report, which provided the most comprehensive account so far of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election to date, described his conduct as an abuse of presidential power.

        While select committee chairman Bennie Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, previously said the select committee considers the Senate report a helpful resource in its investigation, the panel is now making clear it wants to hear from the former DOJ officials directly.

        The select committee has already interviewed Rosen’s former deputy, Richard Donoghue.

          Clark, a Trump-appointed environment law chief at the Justice Department, has become a major figure in the emerging narrative about behind-the-scenes efforts by Trump and his closest allies to orchestrate a leadership coup at the Justice Department and peddle lies about election fraud.

          The Washington Post was first to report that Clark may be subpoenaed as early as Wednesday. Politico first reported the committee’s Wednesday interview with Rosen.

          Based on documents uncovered by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has its own investigation, Clark drafted a letter December 28 to Georgia officials in which he falsely asserted the Department of Justice had found voting irregularities that impacted the outcomes of the presidential election in several states.

          The Justice Department by then had made clear it found no evidence of vote-changing in the election. Clark wanted Rosen and Donoghue to sign the draft of the letter, but they both refused.

          In an email obtained by CNN, Donoghue said at the time, “There is no chance that I would sign this letter or anything remotely like this … from where I stand, this is not even within the realm of possibility.”

          Clark also worked closely with Trump to craft a plan to replace Rosen with himself and use the Department of Justice to undo Georgia’s election results.

          Trump had Rosen and Clark vie for the acting attorney general’s job during the nearly three-hour meeting on January 3 before deciding not to replace Rosen with Clark, the Senate report found. It also details how discussions about Clark’s plan in Georgia became inextricably linked to talks about him replacing Rosen.

          By subpoenaing Clark, the House committee is zeroing in on how uncovering efforts to challenge, overturn and question the validity of the 2020 presidential election.

          Clark’s team has been discussing a potential interview on Capitol Hill for months, according to a person familiar with the matter. This summer, the Senate Judiciary Committee had reached out to Clark for an interview before it spoke with top DOJ officials who explained how Clark was a key component of Trump’s plan to promote election fraud conspiracies in the Justice Department.

          Clark also has been in discussions with the House and knew a House subpoena was a possibility, according to a source familiar with the matter has told CNN. Clark’s attorney has not responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.

          Clark’s subpoena comes as the committee faces a big week of subpoena deadlines for individuals they have previously served. Kash Patel and Steve Bannon are scheduled for depositions on Thursday, and Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino are scheduled for depositions the following day.

          While the committee has shared that Patel and Meadows are engaging with them, they were only recently able to successfully serve Scavino, and Bannon has so far not been cooperating.

            As these deadlines approach, committee members have been unified this week in stating that criminal contempt should quickly be the next step for anyone who defies their subpoena.

            This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Wednesday.