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Ex-US official declines testifying about Trump’s election advice

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Ex-US official declines testifying about Trump’s election advice

Lawyer to Jeffrey Clark informs committee probing Capitol Riot that Trump’s conversations are confidential.

A former top United States Justice Department official who aligned himself with Donald Trump after the 2020 presidential election has declined to testify before a House of Representatives panel investigating the deadly Capitol riot.

Early Newspaper

A letter was sent to the US House of Representatives Select Committee which is investigating the January 6 insurrection. Jeffrey Clark’s lawyer stated that his client’s conversations were confidential and privileged.

Clark supported Trump’s attempts at overturning results of the November 4, election, which President Joe Biden won. The committee is looking to question him about the allegations that he tried to aid in that effort.

A former acting assistant US attorney General, Clark was under scrutiny after several people claimed that he encouraged Trump’s firing of former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

Rosen said Clark wanted to be in place himself so he could investigate Trump’s false electoral fraud claims .

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“Mr.

MacDougald stated that Clark’s advice to Trump was protected by executive privilege. This legal doctrine protects some White House communications.

” Any attempts – whether made by the House or by the President – to enter that sphere must be resisted,” Clark wrote. He also noted that Clark “cannot respond to deposition questions at the moment”.

Thompson responded by calling Clark’s claim to privilege and refusal of answering questions inadmissible.

“He only has a short time to think again and to cooperate fully. He withheld information that we need and we are prepared to take tough measures to hold him responsible to fulfill our obligation,” he stated in a statement.

Thompson wrote in Clark’s subpoena, that the probe by the committee “has shown credible evidence that you attempted… to involve the Department of Justice to attempt to interrupt the peaceful transfer of powers” and that his efforts “risked to involve the Department of Justice to take actions that lacked evidence and threatened to undermine the rule of law.”

The committee has tried to force former Trump allies, but some, including former adviser Steve Bannon have declined.

Trump gave a fiery speech in Washington DC on January 6th to thousands of his supporters. He urged them to march to the Capitol, where US legislators were gathered to confirm Biden’s victory.

He was later impeached for “incitement of insurrection” after a mob stormed 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 authorised to discuss the process.

The interviews included former and current executives branch officials, Trump campaign aides and law enforcement officials. Interviews were also conducted with several people involved in organizing the rally on January 6.

Last month, Biden rejected an effort by Trump to prevent White House records of the deadly insurrection from being turned over. The former president tried to invoke executive privilege but Jen Psaki, White House spokeswoman, said that it was not justified.

” The president is determined to ensure that something like this never happens again. This is why the administration is cooperating in ongoing investigations, including the Jan 6 Select Committee to bring to light the facts,” Psaki said to reporters on October 8.

“The president determined that executive privilege was not appropriate for the first set documents from Trump White House, which were provided by the National Archives .”

In sworn interviews to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Rosen and his former deputy Richard Donoghue told lawmakers that Clark met with Trump behind their backs and repeatedly pressured them to send letters to Georgia and other swing states, urging them to convene legislative sessions to contest the presidential election results.

Donoghue and Rosen declined Clark’s requests. Trump considered removing Rosen and installing Clark. However, he was dissuaded when he discovered that all of the Justice Department’s remaining assistant attorney generals would resign en masse should Clark be appointed.

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Ex-US official declines to testify about election advice to Trump