Sat. May 18th, 2024

Trump official Jeffrey Clark likely violated ethics rules with 2020 election theories, D.C. Bar panel finds

By 37ci3 Apr4,2024

WASHINGTON – A DC Bar disciplinary panel has tentatively concluded that Ex Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clarke He committed an ethical violation when he put forward conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential elections, including the allegation of stealing the election. through smart thermostats.

Clark, an environmental lawyer with no experience in criminal law, was former President Donald Trump’s top choice for acting U.S. attorney general just days before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump eventually backed down after his own Justice Department appointees said there would be mass resignations if he took that step.

Clark faces potential deportation and has repeatedly testified before the panel over the past two weeks Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Thursday’s preliminary result will be reviewed by the D.C. Bar’s full board of professional responsibility before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals makes a final decision on Clark’s status as an attorney.

The question the disciplinary panel had to address was essentially this: Did Clark maliciously promote ridiculous conspiracy theories about massive voter fraud so he could help secure Trump’s second term? Or is it possible that Clark really believes the conspiracy theories he peddles?

Disciplinary counsel Hamilton Fox, who defended Clark’s ouster, argued during closing arguments Thursday that it was impossible for someone like Clark to believe these election lies because they have been repeatedly debunked.

“He had no rational basis to believe that,” Fox said. “I can’t look into someone’s mind, but when someone tells you something over and over again that goes against all the evidence, then yes, I think that person is acting on purpose, on purpose being dishonest.”

“I think maybe there’s an exception for somebody who’s out of their mind, but I’m not – I’m not suggesting that Mr Clarke is mad,” he said. the moon rises in the west, yes, that person is knowingly dishonest.”

Until Trump is likely to do so in court proceedings, Clark brought in a parade of election deniers to put an intellectual gloss on election conspiracy theories, to try to create a world where there was an honest debate about whether or not Joe Biden had won the election. Among them was the MyPillow founder and a frequent guest on the network run by the election denier Mike Lindellalso a Pennsylvanian activist who “achieved a remarkable level of national prominence among the far right, despite his flawed research,” According to Votebeat.

Another witness, an environmental law expert, said during testimony last week that he disagreed with Clark’s view of who his “client” was as a government attorney. There was Clark testified last week he believed his “client” was not the American people, but Trump himself (as most Justice Department lawyers say).

E. Donald Ellio testified last week: “I disagree with Mr. Clark, I think the client is the Department of Justice and the American people, not necessarily the occupant of the office of the president. “I understand that the president is the head of the executive power. I also understand that this is a very controversial and unresolved issue, there is a lot of discussion about it in administrative law and constitutional law.

During closing arguments, Clark’s attorney said his client was defending his honest opinions and was not being dishonest by advancing his theories about the election.

Former White House adviser Pat Philbin testified last week that he tried to dissuade Clark from taking steps to help Trump stay in office, saying it would destroy Clark’s career. But Clark responded that he felt he had a duty to raise concerns about the election results, according to Clark’s attorney, Harry MacDougald.

“Most people in Washington don’t do their job at the cost of destroying their careers,” MacDougald told the panel.

During his argument, MacDougald discussed a draft letter written by Clark that claimed the Justice Department had identified “significant concerns that could affect the outcome of elections in many states.” If Trump were to appoint Clark as acting attorney general, Clark intended to send the letter to the Georgia governor and the leaders of the House and Senate, the lawyer said.

MacDougald argued that the draft letter was a proposal for internal discussion, emphasizing that it was never sent or made public at the time, and that punishing Clark for proposing the letter would amount to “pure thought crime.”

“Attorneys all over the country are following this case,” MacDougald said. “We need brave lawyers. You may not agree with Mr. Clark on this, but if he gets upset with a secret, insider proposal that never gets passed, never goes away, where do you stand?”

“Even if you don’t like Mr. Clark in this case as being apart of the crowd, there may be a situation in the current administration or the future administration where the lawyer is against the crowd and needs their protection.” he continued.

Gillian Feiner, senior counsel at the United States Center for Democracy, said the council’s initial finding was “another step toward holding Clark accountable” for conduct that undermines democracy and the rule of law.

“We’ve already seen other attorneys such as Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Jenna Ellis face consequences for their actions in the 2020 election, and today’s decision suggests that Jeffrey Clarke is next in line,” Feiner said. “No one is above the law.”

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