On Thursday, POLITICO reported that former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark is struggling to fend off disciplinary actions, and potentially the loss of his law license, as the Washington, D.C. bar investigates his role in the efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
"Jeffrey Clark appeared for a lengthy proceeding Thursday that is a prelude to a disciplinary hearing on claims he violated legal ethics in his persistent efforts to undercut the legitimacy of the 2020 election," reported Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein. "The heart of the issue: Did Clark merely offer up unwise suggestions to his superiors — hardly the basis for disciplinary action — or did his persistence in the face of a lack of evidence of fraud render his conduct so inappropriate that he should be punished?"
Clark allegedly gave the White House advice on how to fight the election results, in violation of DOJ communication policies, and in particular wanted to send a letter to officials in Georgia advising them on nonexistent "irregularities" in their vote count. Trump had wanted to appoint him as Attorney General in the final days of his presidency, but officials warned the former president there would be mass resignations if that appointment was made.
"Phil Fox, chief of the D.C. Bar Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which brought the complaint against Clark earlier this year, agreed that 'It is generally not a disciplinary violation to make a stupid suggestion,'" said the report. "But Fox said Clark went further by repeatedly seeking to get the Justice Department to send a letter warning of significant signs of fraud and urging state legislatures to reconvene and consider appointing new presidential electors. 'He came back and used coercive methods or means to attempt to get the letter sent even though he had no additional information' about fraud, Fox said during the videoconference session."
According to the report, Clark's attorney resisted this logic, saying, “They’re saying it’s OK to make a suggestion, but it’s not OK to persist in a suggestion.”
In addition to professional sanctions, Clark is facing a criminal investigation as part of the broader probe into Trump allies' plots around the election. In June, federal law enforcement officials came to his home and executed a search.