Trump trying to 'run out the clock' with privilege claims to 'cover up potentially criminal conduct': Legal experts
President Donald Trump during “chopper talk” on the South Lawn of the White House as he departed for Florida (screengrab)

Donald Trump and his allies are trying to "run out the clock" on the Jan. 6 insurrection by claiming executive privilege, and investigators are concerned the courts might let them get away with stalling.

Steve Bannon has already been indicted on contempt charges for refusing to comply with a House select committee subpoena, and investigators are especially interested in speaking to former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark about his conversations with the former president, reported the Washington Post.

“I’m very interested in what kind of plans he was advancing to thwart the presidential election and who he had talked to about those plans,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), a member of the committee.

Clark had a unique vantage point on those efforts to undermine a free and fair election, according to legal experts, and could provide evidence that Trump took part in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States, in addition to seditious conspiracy or attempted coercion of government employees into carrying out political activity.

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The former Justice Department official might be able to "clearly implicate Trump in any number of conspiratorial crimes,” said former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner, adding that the former president was claiming executive privilege to “cover up potentially criminal conduct.”

President Joe Biden has declined Trump's requests for executive privilege, but the former president is arguing in court that his position allows him to invoke it even after leaving office, which could take months and months to resolve.

“Their goal is obviously to run out the clock before the American people get the truth,” Raskin said. “We’re in a race against the clock here.”

But Raskin said the committee would continue its work while the matter got resolved -- although a court could deal a devastating blow to their work by siding with the twice-impeached one-term president.

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“We believe that categorical defiance of congressional subpoenas are a major threat to the rule of law,” Raskin said. “We will not tolerate people simply declaring themselves above the law.”