'Unacceptable': Capitol riot committee smacks down Trump lawyer for 'astounding' lack of cooperation

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) on Friday smacked down former Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, who refused to answer any questions during his testimony before the House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riots earlier in the day.

In a statement released shortly after Clark's meeting with the committee, Thompson rejected Clark's claims that he could not testify based on attorney-client privilege.

"Mr. Clark's complete failure to cooperate today is unacceptable," Thompson said. "It's astounding that someone who so recently held a position of public trust to uphold the Constitution would now hide behind vague claims of privilege by a former President, refuse to answer questions about an attack on our democracy, and continue an assault on the rule of law."

Thompson then gave Clark "a very short time to reconsider and cooperate fully" before the committee would consider taking "strong measures to hold him accountable," which presumably means holding him in criminal contempt.

The House of Representatives last month referred criminal contempt charges against Trump ally Steve Bannon after he completely refused to comply with its subpoena.

The committee subpoenaed Clark last month on the grounds that he was "reportedly involved in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and interrupt the peaceful transfer of power."

According to the subpoena, Clark "proposed delivery of a letter to state legislators in Georgia and others encouraging to delay certification of election results" and he also "recommended holding a press conference announcing that the Department was investigating allegations of voter fraud despite the lack of evidence that such fraud was present."

Read Thompson's full statement below.