Current News



Judge to decide if ex-DOJ official's RICO case moves to federal court

Bill Rankin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

On Dec. 28, 2020, Clark sent an email to Acting U.S. Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, asking for permission to send the document to Gov. Brian Kemp, former House Speaker David Ralston and Butch Miller, then Senate pro tem.

At the Oval Office meeting less than a week later, Trump decided not to send the letter to Georgia after hearing strong objections from a number of attorneys. Even though the letter was never sent, Clark’s actions “constituted substantial steps toward the commission of false statements and writings,” the indictment alleges.

Wakeford said the response by top Justice Department officials to Clark’s proposed letter shows he was acting outside his lane as an assistant U.S. attorney general.

“He was immediately told: One, this is not true. Two, this is not your job. Three, this is not anyone’s job in the Department of Justice,” Wakeford said.

Jones appeared somewhat skeptical of a number of MacDougald’s contentions. What about the fact that what Clark had written in the letter was “completely inaccurate?” Jones asked. Did Clark violate Justice Department protocol by not getting approval to contact the president? And did Trump reach out to speak to Clark before or after he’d written that letter?

To the last question, MacDougal replied, “I don’t know the answer to that.”


As to whether Clark violated protocols, special prosecutor Anna Cross called former Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt as the only witness in the hearing. After leaving the Justice Department in July 2020, Hunt represented Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Meadows’ aide who gave explosive testimony at the Jan. 6th congressional hearings and who testified before the Fulton special grand jury investigating the case.

Hunt testified that Clark, who served as Assistant Attorney General over the department’s civil division, did not have the responsibility to weed out election fraud. That would have been the province of either the civil rights or criminal divisions, Hunt said.

Hunt also noted that, since 1999, there was been a protocol in place requiring Justice Department officials to get approval from the attorney general or his top two assistants before engaging in discussions with members of the White House.

During the hearing, MacDougald sought to enter into evidence a written declaration from Clark who said that at no time “did I ever take knowingly false positions while at the Justice Department (or, to my knowledge, take false positions unknowingly, either.)” But Jones, after Cross objected and noted she could not cross-examine Clark, refused to enter Clark’s declaration into evidence.


©2023 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus