By Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen and Annie Grier | CNN
The January 6 selection committee announced Friday that the statement with Jeffrey Clark originally scheduled for Saturday has been postponed until December 16 because “medical conditions preclude his participation in tomorrow’s meeting.”
“Through his counsel, Mr. Clark has informed the Select Committee of a medical condition that precludes his participation in yesterday’s meeting and he has provided sufficient evidence of his claim. Statement by President Thompson as of December 16 have agreed to the postponement. Chairman Thompson wishes Mr. Clark the best of luck,” selection committee spokesman Tim Mulvey said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the committee charged Clarke, a former top Justice Department official during the Trump administration, in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions and failing to submit documents to the panel during a recent statement. Report approved.
But the committee said it was giving Clark another chance to appear on Saturday, in light of a new letter he sent to the panel saying he wanted to claim Fifth Amendment protection.
With Clark expected to implement those protections against self-incrimination, it is unclear how much information the committee will receive or if it will be satisfied with their level of involvement.
Committee chairman Benny Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, previously told CNN of the scheduled statement, “I can’t predict what he’ll say.”
“All I know is that his attorney represents the fact that his client plans to” the Fifth Amendment, Thompson said. “If he’s planning on taking it, he’ll have to take it every time we ask him a question.”
Clark was asked to include communications with former President Donald Trump, senior members of the White House, Trump’s re-election campaign, John Eastman — a conservative lawyer working with the then-president’s legal team — and state officials. Was.
In the committee’s 22-page report on criminal contempt charges, the panel said Clarke had violated Justice Department policy when he met with Trump to discuss efforts to reverse the 2020 election and Further, talks with members of Congress about canceling the election.
The report said the committee communicated several times with Clark’s attorneys, even allowing him an extension to make records and appear for statements. But when Clarke eventually appeared, the committee said, her attorney handed over a 12-page letter to panel staff objecting to nearly every question, on the grounds that Trump was entitled to confidential legal advice—which Clark’s attorney said. called the “Holy Trust”.
If Clark answers the committee’s questions in the rescheduled statement by pleading the Fifth Amendment, the panel must halt the process of holding him in criminal contempt. If Clark continues to stone the committee, and the committee’s illegitimate calls for the Fifth Amendment, the panel will likely go ahead with a floor vote.
When asked if there is still a very good chance of moving toward criminal contempt after the rescheduled confession, Thompson replied, “Uh, yes, absolutely.”
Adam Schiff, a member of the California Democrats committee, said he would not outline the specific questions he plans to ask Clarke, but added, “We will have a whole range of questions for him that will have no factual basis.” To extract that it may blame him.”
“That would be my expectation if he is acting in good faith,” Schiff said.
Democratic Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, who is also a member of the committee, said he is asking Clarke about his work at the Justice Department.
“And so if they think they need to use the Fifth Amendment when working for the government, while I was the government’s advocate, that’s pretty shocking,” Aguilar said. “But it is something that we will consider and we will not take it lightly.”