Federal agents searched the home of former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark on Wednesday, bringing the focus of federal law enforcement squarely onto a high-ranking official who tried to help former President Donald Trump stay in office after losing the 2020 election.
A spokesman for the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office told TPM that “there was law enforcement activity in the Lorton area yesterday. We have no comment regarding the nature of that activity.”
Russ Vought, a former Trump administration official who runs a foundation that employs Clark, tweeted that on Wednesday, more than a dozen “DOJ law enforcement officials” searched Clark’s home in a “pre dawn raid,” leaving the onetime pretender to the position of attorney general “in the streets in his pjs.”
ABC and the New York Times first reported the searches. It’s not clear what the focus of the searches was.
Clark was the only senior DOJ official in 2020 and early 2021 who was willing to do what former President Trump wanted: wield the department as a tool to interfere in the certification of the election results.
Trump wanted to install Clark as acting attorney general, a role in which, according to Trump’s plan, the longtime environmental law practitioner would issue letters to multiple swing states that would inform them that the DOJ regarded the elections in their states as inconclusive due to massive fraud.
Vought and Clark himself have portrayed his activities as focused on investigating voter fraud.
But at the time, there was no evidence ever presented of voter fraud in the 2020 election; Clark’s letter would have come with the recommendation that state legislatures certify new, pro-Trump electors for Congress to approve on Jan. 6, according to a report released last year by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Clark failed to investigate leads that other DOJ officials provided him, the report said, and instead demanded information about a debunked theory that “smart thermostats” had allowed the Chinese government to meddle with voting machines.
The searches come as federal prosecutors continue to investigate false elector slates that the Trump campaign created in multiple states that he lost. The alternate electors were supposedly ready to go to D.C. if state legislatures bent to the former President’s will and decertified Biden’s win.
Clark’s actions in the DOJ are set to be the focus of Thursday afternoon’s Jan. 6 Committee hearing in Congress.