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The Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot voted 9-0 Wednesday to approve a criminal contempt of Congress resolution against Trump-era Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark after he defied the committee’s subpoena.
The vote comes as the committee plans to hold a second hearing for Clark on Saturday before the contempt charge is finalized, which will provide him with an opportunity to plead the Fifth on a question-by-question basis.
The House appears primed to move quickly, with the first step, a meeting of the House Rules Committee on the contempt resolution, scheduled for Thursday.
Clark’s lawyer, as noted by Axios, sent a letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., the committee’s chair, and stated Clark is “asserting his rights against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” Thompson reportedly conveyed to Clark’s attorney that the committee would be “willing to convene another deposition.”
“We will not finalize this contempt process if Mr. Clark genuinely cures his failure to comply with this subpoena this Saturday,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo.
If finalized, the measure would be sent to the House for a full vote and then referred to the Justice Department for prosecution of Clark, who served as Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division from 2018 to 2021.
Earlier this month, Steve Bannon, a former adviser to former President Trump, was indicted on contempt of Congress charges.
Clark was subpoenaed by the committee in October in an effort to understand his role “at the Justice Department and learn who was involved across the administration” as it relates to the events of January 6.