IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Jeffrey Clark, whom Trump considered for AG, had phone seized in obstruction probe

A filing said the former Justice Department official's home was searched because federal agents were looking for evidence of false statements, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.
Jeffrey Clark, then-Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, speaks in Washington on Sept. 14, 2020.
Jeffrey Clark, then the assistant attorney general for the environment and natural resources, speaks in Washington on Sept. 14, 2020.Susan Walsh / AP file

WASHINGTON — Federal agents who seized former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark's phone in June were looking for evidence of crimes of making false statements, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice, according to a new filing.

Clark, whom former President Donald Trump considered naming attorney general as part of his effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, told officials with the Washington, D.C., bar that the search warrant for seizure of his electronic devices was connected to a criminal investigation into violations of three federal laws. Special agents with the Justice Department inspector general conducted the search in June.

The filing Wednesday night comes in connection with a disciplinary case brought against Clark over the summer by the D.C. Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel. The filing was first spotted by CNN.

Clark, whose belief in conspiracy theories about the 2020 election had his colleagues at the Justice Department wondering what happened to him, had worked in environmental law and had no experience as a criminal attorney. Trump's top officials at the Justice Department threatened to quit if Trump named him attorney general in December 2020, as Trump was scheming to stay in office and wanted to enlist federal law enforcement in his effort.

A filing made public Wednesday from the chairman of the hearing committee of the D.C. Court of Appeals Board on Professional Responsibility says Clark informed the committee that his electronic devices were seized "in connection with an investigation into violations of 18 U.S.C. 1001, which relates to false statements, 18 U.S.C. 371, which relates to conspiracy, and 18 U.S.C. 1512, which relates to obstruction of justice."

The filing points out that execution of the search warrant "only means that the Department of Justice believed that Mr. Clark had evidence relating to the criminal investigation" and that there is not yet evidence to find that Clark was "the target of a Grand Jury, much less that he has been indicted."

Clark has said he was surprised to see federal agents at his door early in the morning in June, when he was not wearing pants.

“I opened the door and asked for the courtesy to be able to put some pants on and was told, ‘No, you’ve got to come outside,’” Clark told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson after the search warrant was executed.

Dozens of people connected to Trump and efforts to stop the transfer of power in the lead-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol have received subpoenas in recent weeks. FBI special agents seized the phone of Mike Lindell, the Trump-tied CEO of MyPillow, who has spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, at a Hardee's drive-thru this week.