Former US Official Refuses to Testify on Election Council to Trump | Political news

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A former senior US Justice Department official who sided with Donald Trump after the 2020 presidential election refused to testify before a House panel investigating the deadly capitol riot.

In a letter to Select Committee of the US House of Representatives Investigating the January 6 uprising, Jeffrey Clark’s attorney said his client’s conversations with Trump are confidential and privileged.

Clark defended Trump try to dump the results of the Nov. 4 election, which President Joe Biden won, and the committee seeks to question him about allegations that he had tried to help in that effort.

Clark, a former deputy attorney general of the United States, has come under scrutiny after several people said he encouraged Trump to remove former acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen.

Rosen and others said Clark wanted to settle in himself, so he could start investigations into Trump false voter fraud claims.

“Mr. Clark is subject to a sacred trust,” Clark’s attorney, Harry MacDougald, wrote in a letter Friday to US Representative Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House committee.

MacDougald said Clark’s advice to Trump is protected by executive privilege, a legal doctrine that keeps some communications from the White House confidential.

“Any attempt – either by the House – or by the current president – to invade that sphere of confidentiality must be resisted,” he wrote, noting that Clark “cannot answer deposition questions at this time.”

In response, Thompson called Clark’s claim of privilege and his refusal to answer questions unacceptable.

“You have very little time to reconsider and fully cooperate. We need the information he has in his possession and we are willing to take decisive measures to hold him accountable for complying with his obligation, “he said in a statement.

Thompson had written in Clark’s subpoena that the committee’s investigation “has revealed credible evidence that you attempted to involve the Department of Justice in efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power” and your efforts “risked involving the Department of Justice in actions. that lacked evidential basis “. and threatened to subvert the rule of law ”.

The committee has sought to oblige Several former Trump allies will testify in his ongoing investigation, but some, including former adviser Steve Bannon, have refused.

On January 6, Trump gave a fiery speech in Washington, DC, thousands of his supporters and urged them to march to the Capitol, where US lawmakers gathered to certify Biden’s electoral victory.

He was later accused for “incitement to insurrection” after a mob broke into the building.

The panel has interviewed more than 150 witnesses so far, two people familiar with the interviews told the Associated Press news agency on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the process.

Interviews have included a wide swath of former and current executive branch officials, Trump campaign aides, law enforcement officials and others. Several people who helped organize the demonstration on the morning of January 6 have also been interviewed.

Last month, Biden rejected an effort by Trump to prevent the release of the White House records on the deadly insurrection. The former president had tried to invoke executive privilege, but White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said it was “not justified.”

“The president is dedicated to ensuring that something like this never happens again, so the administration is cooperating with ongoing investigations, including the Select Committee on January 6, to bring to light what happened,” Psaki told journalists on October 8.

“As part of this process, the President has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of Trump White House documents provided to us by the National Archives.”

In sworn interviews with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rosen and his former MP Richard Donoghue told lawmakers that Clark met with Trump behind his back and repeatedly pressured them to send letters to Georgia and other undecided states, urging them to convene legislative sessions to challenge the results of the presidential elections.

Rosen and Donoghue declined Clark’s requests. Trump then considered firing Rosen and installing Clark, but was dissuaded after discovering that all remaining deputy attorneys general in the Justice Department would resign en masse if Clark were appointed.

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