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Jan. 6 committee will move to hold former DOJ official Jeffrey Clark in contempt


(WASHINGTON) — The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack on Wednesday will recommend the full House hold former Trump Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark in contempt for refusing to cooperate with their investigation in the latest effort to ratchet up pressure on the former president’s aides and allies.

The move comes as Mark Meadows, former President Donald Trump’s fourth and final chief of staff, agreed to cooperate with the panel, turning over thousands of pages of records and agreeing to appear for a deposition in the coming days.

The full chamber could vote to hold Clark, the former acting head of the Justice Department’s civil division, in contempt as soon as Thursday, making him the second Trump associate after Steve Bannon to be reprimanded by Congress for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

After a House vote, the Justice Department would determine whether to prosecute Clark as it has Bannon, who was charged with two counts of contempt of Congress for spurning the panel’s subpoena.

Bannon has pleaded not guilty and faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine for each charge.

Unlike Bannon, Clark appeared before the committee with his attorney on Nov. 5, in response to a subpoena for records and testimony.

But he left after 90 minutes, after refusing to answer any questions, citing claims of executive privilege, which the committee has disputed, and Trump’s ongoing legal challenge to the panel’s inquiry.

Clark declined to answer direct questions about his knowledge of Georgia election law and his conversations with members of Congress, both of which committee members argued would not be covered by any claims of executive privilege.

The committee also sought to question him about Trump’s efforts to get the Justice Department to investigate baseless claims of election fraud.

Ahead of the Capitol riot, Clark played a prominent role advancing Trump’s efforts to challenge the election results inside his administration. He circulated a draft letter inside the Justice Department to urge Georgia’s governor and top Georgia officials to convene the state legislature to investigate voter fraud claims.

On Tuesday, committee members spent four hours interviewing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a source familiar with the interview confirmed to ABC News.

Raffensberger was the target of a pressure campaign from then-President Trump and his aides and allies last year over the results of the presidential election in Georgia. Joe Biden was the first Democrat to carry the state in a presidential election in nearly three decades.

ABC News’ Alex Mallin, Katherine Faulders and Ben Siegel contributed to this report.

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