On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal reacted to the new reports that the Justice Department is investigating former Donald Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark is under investigation for conspiracy, false statements, and obstruction.
Clark, who pushed conspiracy theories at the DOJ and planned to pressure Georgia officials to throw out the election, would be one of the highest ranking officials so far to be charged as a result of the 2020 coup plot. But, said Katyal, it could also put Trump himself in jeopardy.
"You see Jeffrey Clark, who was at one time slotted to be an inexperienced coup attorney general by Trump, going into January 6th," said anchor Ari Melber. "Now we're learning they were looking at, among other things, conspiracy. What does that tell you?"
"It tells me a lot," said Katyal. "So conspiracy is a very flexible doctrine that prosecutors can use, and the key thing about it — it goes all the way back to like the 17th century — that it doesn't require the completion of a crime. It's called an inchoate crime. If you and I agree to rob a bank, that's a crime, even if we end up not doing it, as long as there's an act and furtherance of it. I wrote a whole Yale journal about how this doctrine is a flexible tool for prosecutors to use because it allows people to flip and turn in information to law enforcement."
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All of this, argued Katyal, means that Trump — who already apparently has insiders giving the FBI information — should be "incredibly worried" that Clark could flip on him. And the fact that he hired a new lawyer for $3 million upfront is an indication he already is.
"If you talk to the general counsel of any company in the country and you say, what kind of case would you spend $3 million on, it's usually something with a ton of legal work," said Katyal. "And so that suggests to me that's what's going on here. Trump understands that this is not just a small document dispute or something like that between January 6th and this. It's a massive criminal investigation, as it should be."
Neal Katyal says Trump fears Jeffrey Clark will flip on him www.youtube.com