Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen and Annie Greyer | CNN
The selection committee on January 6 announced Friday that Jeffrey Clark’s interrogation, originally scheduled for Saturday, had been postponed until December 16 due to “health conditions that prevent him from participating in tomorrow’s meeting.”
“Through his attorney, Mr. Clark informed the Ad Hoc Committee of a medical condition that prevents him from participating in tomorrow’s meeting and has provided sufficient evidence to support his claim. Chairman Thompson agreed to defer the testimony until December 16. Chairman Thompson wishes Mr. Clarke all the best, ”Committee Special Representative Tim Mulvey said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the committee approved a report in which Clark, a former senior Justice Department official under the Trump administration, expressed contempt for Congress for ignoring his subpoena, refusing to answer questions in recent testimony and refusing to hand over documents to the commission.
But the committee said it was giving Clark another opportunity to show up on Saturday in light of a new letter he sent to the group saying he intends to demand Fifth Amendment protection.
Since Clark is expected to apply this defense against self-incrimination, it is unclear how much information the committee will receive and whether it will be satisfied with its level of participation.
Committee chairman Benny Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, previously told CNN of the planned deposition, “I can’t foresee what he has to say.”
“I just know that his lawyer presented the fact that his client plans to accept the Fifth Amendment,” Thompson said. “If he plans to accept it, he will have to accept it every time we ask him a question.”
The documents that were asked to hand over to Clark included communications with former President Donald Trump, senior White House members, Trump’s re-election campaign, John Eastman – a conservative lawyer who works with the then president’s legal team – and government officials.
In a 22-page committee report on contempt of criminal responsibility, the commission said Clark violated Justice Department policies when he met Trump to discuss efforts to cancel the 2020 election and also held talks with members of Congress about delegitimizing the election. …
The report said the committee spoke to Clark’s lawyers on multiple occasions, even allowing them to extend the deadline for creating records and appearing to testify. But when Clark finally showed up, the committee said, his attorney handed the commission staff a 12-page letter in which he objected to nearly every issue on the grounds that Trump was entitled to confidential legal advice – what Clark’s attorney called “a sacred trust. “.
If Clarke responded to the committee’s questions in the postponed testimony, citing the Fifth Amendment, the college may have to stop the process of accusing him of criminal contempt. If Clarke continues to obstruct the committee and invoke the Fifth Amendment in ways the committee deems illegitimate, the committee is likely to continue voting.
When asked if there is still a very good chance that they will become criminally disrespectful after the postponed screening, Thompson replied, “Yes, of course.”
Committee member Adam Schiff, a Democrat from California, said he would not describe the specific questions they plan to ask Clark, but added: “We will have whole categories of questions for him that will not have any factual basis. he came to the conclusion that it might expose him. “
“I will expect this if he acts in good faith,” Schiff said.
Democratic spokesman Pete Aguilar of California, also a member of the committee, said they are asking Clark about his job at the Justice Department.
“And so if he feels like he needs to use the Fifth Amendment while he was working for the government and I was the government’s lawyer, it’s pretty shocking,” Aguilar said. “But this is something that we will consider, and we do not take it lightly.”