Attorneys file ethics complaint against DOJ official over 2020 election
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Attorneys file ethics complaint against DOJ official over 2020 election

A group of attorneys on Tuesday filed an ethics complaint against Jeffrey B. Clark, a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia, former Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), and former Acting Chief of the Department’s Civil Division. The group said they believed Clark violated the Rules of Professional Conduct when he sought to have the Department of Justice set in motion a process that would have nullified the 2020 Presidential election results in multiple states.

On December 28, 2020, two weeks after the electoral college had casted their vote for US president, Clark sent his superiors, Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, a letter he had drafted. He asked them to join him in signing it on behalf of the department. The opening paragraph read:

The Department of Justice is investigating various irregularities in the 2020 election for President of the United States. The Department will update you as we are able on investigatory progress, but at this time we have identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia. No doubt many of Georgia’s state legislators are aware of irregularities, sworn to by a variety of witnesses, and we have taken notice of their complaints.

In the 15-page complaint, the group alleged that Clark knew the statement he wrote was completely false, because the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency had said that the election was the most secure presidential election in American history. Additionally, before Clark delivered his letter to Rosen and Donoghue, multiple courts throughout the US, including the Supreme Court of Georgia, had rejected claims of voter fraud brought on behalf of President Trump.

However, Clark still proposed that the DOJ send letters to state leaders, including those in Georgia, making the claim that the DOJ “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple states.”  According to the complaint, Clark’s alleged attempt to disseminate these false statements had “enormous destabilizing potential for the entire nation” and he should thus face disciplinary action for his misconduct.

The ethics complaint was signed by 34 attorneys in total.