Attorneys file ethics complaint against ex-Justice official over plot to help Trump

Clark drafted a letter he wanted Rosen to approve which urged Georgia to convene a special legislative session to investigate voter fraud claims

  
Former President Donald Trump gestures while speaking to his supporters during the Save America Rally at the Sarasota Fairgrounds in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. July 3, 2021.

Former President Donald Trump gestures while speaking to his supporters during the Save America Rally at the Sarasota Fairgrounds in Sarasota, Florida, U.S. July 3, 2021.

REUTERS/Octavio Jones

WASHINGTON: A group of prominent attorneys on Tuesday filed an ethics complaint against Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a former top Justice Department official who is under investigation for allegedly plotting to help former President Donald Trump overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The complaint, signed by former Justice Department lawyers and spearheaded by the group Lawyers Defending American Democracy, asks the District of Columbia Bar's disciplinary office to investigate Clark's actions and sanction him.

"Mr. Clark made false statements about the integrity of the election in a concerted effort to disseminate an official statement of the United States Department of Justice that the election results in multiple states were unreliable," they wrote, noting such conduct put American democracy at grave risk.

An attorney for Clark could not be immediately reached.

Clark was nominated by former President Donald Trump as Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

A former Kirkland & Ellis lawyer who defended BP in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, he frequently clashed with career attorneys inside the division over his narrow interpretations of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. He was later also tapped as acting head of the Civil Division at the end of the Trump administration.

In January, the Justice Department's inspector general announced his office was launching an investigation into whether Clark plotted to oust then-Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen so he could take over the department and help pursue Trump's baseless claims by opening an investigation into voter fraud in Georgia.

Emails obtained by ABC News showed that Clark also drafted a letter he wanted Rosen to approve which urged Georgia to convene a special legislative session to investigate voter fraud claims.

Clark's plan, which was first reported by the New York Times and independently confirmed by Reuters, ultimately failed after senior department leaders pledged to resign in protest.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; editing by Richard Pullin) ((sarah.n.lynch@thomsonreuters.com; 202-579-0289;))


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