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DOJ search of Jeffrey's Clark home tied to obstruction and conspiracy probe, filing says

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Washington — A search by federal agents of former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark's home in June is tied to a criminal investigation into possible violations of laws related to false statements, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, according to a filing from a District of Columbia Bar committee published Wednesday.

The partially redacted filing, which came as part of an ethics case involving Clark being considered by the D.C. Bar's disciplinary arm, indicates that Clark told legal authorities that on the morning of June 20, roughly a dozen agents with the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General executed a search warrant at his Virginia home and seized his electronic devices "in connection with an investigation into violations" of three federal statutes. CNN first reported the filing.

Clark has asked for his disciplinary case before the D.C. Bar's Board on Professional Responsibility be put on hold pending several investigations, including those from the Justice Department, the House select committee examining the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol and a Fulton County, Georgia, special grand jury.

But the office in charge of attorney disciplinary matters, which opposes deferring the proceedings, noted that Clark "has not asserted that he is the target of a grand jury, much less that he has been indicted," the filing states.

The committee of the professional responsibility board recommended Clark's bid to defer his disciplinary case be denied.

The D.C. Bar's Office of Disciplinary Counsel set in motion the proceedings against Clark this summer, citing his efforts to push former President Donald Trump's unfounded claims of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election. In a 13-page filing laying out the ethics charges against Clark, legal regulators cited a letter the former Justice Department lawyer pushed to send to Georgia officials falsely suggesting the department identified "significant concerns" that may have impacted the outcome of the election in numerous states, including Georgia. 

Disciplinary officials said Clark's conduct violated D.C. rules, namely that he allegedly "attempted to engage in conduct involving dishonesty" by sending the letter containing baseless claims and that he allegedly "attempted to engage in conduct that would seriously interfere with the administration of justice."

Clark's attorneys have pushed back against the ethics charges against him, arguing in an answer to the charges that the D.C. Bar lacks jurisdiction over his conduct in part because its intervention "would intrude on the president's exclusive and unreviewable authority over federal criminal and civil investigations occurring during his term of office."

The charges, they wrote, "do not aver (or significantly aver) that [Clark] harbored any [intent] to act in a dishonest fashion for self-gain or to achieve an illicit objective for former President Trump."

Clark's conduct surrounding the 2020 presidential election and efforts to pressure the Justice Department to challenge the results were the focus of a Jan. 6 select committee hearing in June. 

Trump wanted to fire the acting attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, in December 2021 and replace him with Clark, an environmental lawyer, which committee Chair Bennie Thompson said would have amounted to "essentially a political coup."

Top Justice Department officials threatened to resign if Trump installed Clark to lead the department, and the former president ultimately did not take that step.

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