"Who is Jeffrey Clark and why does he matter?" questioned The Bulwark political columnist Amanda Carpenter on December 7. The former communications director to Sen. Ted Cruz and speechwriter to Sen. Jim DeMint had a valid quandary - and what she uncovered invited even more questions.
"Clark wanted to do all the election subversion Bill Barr wouldn’t," she wrote. "Think of Clark as the guy who was prepared to do everything former Attorney General Bill Barr—who stated there 'was no widespread election fraud' and then promptly announced his resignation and left his post on December 23—wouldn’t. Stuff like using Department of Justice resources to declare the election 'corrupt,' launch investigations into bananas internet-conspiracy theories about Italygate and Dominion Voting Systems, and file federal lawsuits to those ends."
Fitting into the Donald Trump era of evasiveness and denial, Clark declined voluntary interviews with congressional investigators probing the January 6 Capitol riot in Washington, D.C. and then sidestepped the following subpoena.
"Clark doesn’t want to talk, but it turns out lots of other people have been happy to talk about the things Clark did in December and January of 2020," Carpenter wrote. "Senate investigators conducted extensive voluntary interviews with his colleagues who said Clark held secret meetings with Trump and then pushed his superiors to 'publicly announce that DOJ was investigating election fraud and tell key swing state legislatures they should appoint alternate slates of electors following certification of the popular vote.'"
READ MORE: New evidence ties Trump White House to Jeffrey Clark's Georgia election letter
If accepted, Clark's “Georgia Proof of Concept" letter would have been duplicated in other contested states following the election results of 2020.
"The letter would have informed state officials that DOJ had 'taken notice' of election irregularities in their state and recommended calling a special legislative session to evaluate these irregularities, determine who 'won the most legal votes,' and consider appointing a new slate of Electors."
However, then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen rejected the idea on January 2.
"Clark told him Trump had offered to make him attorney general, but he would decline if Rosen would agree to sign the letter. Rosen refused. On January 3, Clark told Rosen he was going to accept Trump’s offer to replace Rosen as acting attorney general. But, Rosen quickly organized with others and threatened to resign if Trump did so. Clark’s plan fell apart. But still, it was quite the plan. Keep in mind that Clark was proposing these steps after Trump’s campaign had lost dozens of cases in court over alleged election fraud and the states had all certified their election results, which makes his actions all the more brazen."
READ MORE: Trump DOJ official Jeffrey Clark postpones Capitol riot testimony due to 'medical condition'
The January 6 Committee has issued a 22-page report asking for contempt charges to be brought against Clark for conspiring with members of Congress to delegitimize the 2020 presidential election in the weeks leading up to the U.S. Capitol riot. Clark is currently scheduled to appear before the committee on December 16, but if his previous track record is any indication, he might not show up - or he might plead the Fifth Amendment.
Committee chairs Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney have said he must do so on a “question-by-question basis.”
Fellow committee member Rep. Jaime Raskin explained, “You can’t plead the Fifth to an entire prosecution. You can’t plead the Fifth to every question you might be asked. So it applies only when you have a specific and reasonable apprehension that your answer could be used against you in a criminal prosecution.”