WASHINGTON — A disciplinary board is moving to punish Jeffrey Clark, the former Justice Department official who worked to reverse the results of the 2020 election, including the possibility of suspension.
A complaint filed this week by the DC Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which rules 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 investigating Mr. Clark for his efforts to exercise the department’s authority to falsely convince election officials and the American public that Mr. Trump had won the presidential race.
Mr. Clark “tried to engage in conduct involving dishonesty” and “attempted to engage in conduct that would seriously disrupt the administration of justice,” the indictment said.
As soon as mr. Clark has received the complaint, he has 20 days to respond to the allegations, according to a request from the DC Bar. Mr. Clark and his attorneys may present evidence for his defense and cross-examine witnesses. Should he lose his case, the board could eventually strip him of his legal license.
Mr Clark did not respond to a request for comment.
Rachel Semmel, a 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 assault on the legal credentials of one of the few attorneys at the Department of Justice who had the interests of the American people in mind.”
The complaint was previously reported by Law & Crime.
mr. Clark flew mostly under the radar at the Justice Department. In 2018, he was confirmed to lead the Environment and Natural Resources Department, and he took on the additional role of Acting Chief of the Civilian Department after its leader stepped down in the summer of 2020.
But he attracted national attention after DailyExpertNews reported that he was part of an effort to overthrow the Justice Department leadership to use the agency’s power to keep Mr Trump in office.
The complaint focuses on that effort, which includes John Eastman, a lawyer close to Mr Trump; Kenneth Klukowski, a White House official who began working with Mr. Clark at the Justice Department after the election; and Representative Scott Perry, Republican from Pennsylvania, who was one of Mr. Trump’s key allies in Congress.
The complaint details the many times the Acting Attorney General, Jeffrey A. Rosen, and the Acting Deputy Attorney General, Richard P. Donoghue, told Mr. Clark that they had found no evidence to support allegations of widespread voter fraud.
Nevertheless, the complaint says that on Dec. 28, Mr. Clark asked Mr. Klukowski to investigate whether state lawmakers could submit unauthorized voter rolls to Congress.
Mr. Clark reportedly used that investigation to draft a “proof-of-concept letter” to Georgia state election officials, falsely alleging fraud was affecting the state’s election results. The letter urged the state legislature to convene a special session and review the list of voters who had voted for Joseph R. Biden Jr. to reconsider.
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 intended to install him as acting attorney general, a plan that eventually derailed senior Justice Department officials and White House attorneys.
Last month, early morning federal investigators searched Mr. Clark’s Virginia home in connection with the Inspector General’s investigation into attempts by former Justice Department officials to overturn the 2020 election.
Federal prosecutors in Washington are also digging into the broader plan of Mr. Trump’s allies to have key swing states submitted to Congress from voters who falsely claim that Mr. Trump had won.