Skip to main content

tv   Jan. 6 Select Cmte. Holds Jeffrey Clark Contempt Vote  CSPAN  December 1, 2021 8:17pm-8:38pm EST

8:17 pm
capital. and they have in-depth interviews about the latest works of writers. -- with writers about their latest works. and our occasional series talking with features extensive conversations with historians about their lives. many of our television programs are also available as podcasts. you can find them all on the c-span now mobile app. where you get your podcast. >> the house select committee tasked with investigating the january 6 u.s. capitol attack voted unanimously to recommend criminal contempt charges against jeffrey clark. members moved forward with the referral despite indications from mr. clark us attorneys that he is now going to meet with the committee to assert his fifth amendment right. if the full house were to take
8:18 pm
up the resolution, mr. clark would become the second person to face potential prosecution in relation to the january 6 investigation.
8:19 pm
the select committee is meeting to consider a report on the resolution recommended that the house of representatives find jeffrey clark in contempt of congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by a select committee to investigate january 6 attack on the united states capital. without objection, the chair is authorized to declare the committee in recess at any time. i will now recognize myself for an opening statement. i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. that is a part of the oath that i took. when we were sworn in as a present lives in part, all of
8:20 pm
our staff members serve this country in uniform civil services and appointees across our government. jeffrey clark swore that he was an assistant to the attorney general to support and defend the constitution. the year ago right now, there was an all-out attack when the constitution was underway. the former president was waging a campaign to overturn the results of the election. his allies were looking for ways to get around the constitution and keep him in power. it appears mr. clark was central to that effort. the campaign of political pressure and maneuvering failed but the assault on the rule of
8:21 pm
law did not end. it escalated. it resulted in a violent attack on the seat of our democracy. what the inner circle could not achieve was a mob of writers. to do our duty as members of this committee, as members of this body and legislators charged with finding truth about an attack on our democracy and swearing to support and defend the constitution, we put miss clark on our witness list. as someone who wasn't direct contact with the former president in the days leading up to the -- to january 6, he has information we believe is relevant to our investigation. when he on like hundreds of others refused to cooperate with our investigation voluntarily, we subpoenaed him on october 13
8:22 pm
and when he appeared for a deposition on november 5 instead of answering her questions, his lawyer presented the committee with a dozen pages of excuses for defying the law and refusing to comply with our subpoena. we heard the term contempt of congress a lot in the last few weeks. we know it is serious business that can land a person in serious trouble. it can sound a little abstract. if you want to know what contempt of congress really looks like, read the transcript of mr. clark's deposition and his attorney with the select committee. what you find there is contempt for congress and the american people. contempt for the rule of law, contempt for the constitution. faced with specific questions, he refused to offer any specific claim of privilege that could shield him from answering.
8:23 pm
instead, he hid again and again behind his attorney's 12 page letter. he said i think that we are done and he walked out. the former superiors at the justice department did not hide. mr. rosen, mr. donahue, the answer to select committee questions for hours about the very same topics we would like to address. many others have done the same. there is nothing a stringer about congress seeking the testimony of a former executive branch official. the white house chief of staff is cooperating with our investigation. i have considered your clocks objections and rejected him.
8:24 pm
he was provided the opportunity to return to the deposition and he refused to do so. around 8:00 last evening, mr. clark's attorney read a letter to the committee. another in a long series of long letters stating that mr. clark now intends to assert his fifth amendment privilege against incriminating himself in this process. he offers no pacific basis for that search. he offers no facts that would allow the committee to consider it. mr. clark had the opportunity to assert this privilege in response to questions we intended to ask him in the november 5 deposition. he declined to do so. he walked out. this is a last-ditch attempt to delay the committee proceedings.
8:25 pm
however, for the minute privilege, even though mr. clark previously had the opportunity to make these names on the record, the select committee will provide him another chance to do so. i have informed mr. clark attorney that i am willing to convene another deposition if mr. clark with assert that provision on a question by question basis. that is what the law requires someone to assert the privilege against self and combination. we have just learned mr. clark has agreed to appear again to continue his deposition. we will proceed tonight with considering the contempt request as this is just the first step of the contempt process. we just want the facts and we need witnesses to cooperate with the legal obligation and provide
8:26 pm
us the information about the january 6 attack. mr. clark still has that opportunity and i hope he takes advantage of it. we will not allow anyone to run at the and we will insist that he must appear on this saturday without objection, correspondence will all be made part of the record. as with mr. bennet, the select committee has no desire to be placed in the situation but mr. clark has left us no other choice. he chose this path. he knew her consequences he might face if he did so. this committee and this house must insist on accountability in the face of that sort of defiance. we must honor the oath we took to support and defend the constitution. we all take that oath very
8:27 pm
seriously. i am sure that most public servants do because if that oath loses meeting, -- meaning, democracy and the rule of law in this country is in serious trouble. i want my colleagues to support adoption for content of congress and refer him to the prosecution by the deferment of justice. i know recognize a distinction leader for any opening comments you care to offer. >> thank you very much. jeffrey clark was an assistant attorney general. a trump appointee of the department of justice. according to multiple sources, mr. clark was asked by president trump to overtake the role of attorney general. in parts that he could issue a series of letters falsely
8:28 pm
suggesting that the deriving of justice believed that the presidential election may have been stolen. of course, this happened after the department had repeatedly informed president trump that his allegations of a stolen election were not true. and they were not supported by the evidence. this happened after dozens of courts ruled against president trump and his election fraud names. this happened after the electoral college certify the results of the election as our constitution requires we are a nation of laws. imagine what would have happened if all the trump appointed leaders at the justice department had supported clark and correctly issued to those false letters. imagine what january 6 would
8:29 pm
have been then. and even more profound constitutional crisis. mr. clark was not appointed and his letter was not issued because a group of honorable public servants each holding high-level positions in the apartment of justice understood that they were bound by higher oath to our constitution. they did not yield, even to the president that appointed them. they faced down president trump and forcefully told him no. they would not allow that apartment of justice to be turned into an arm of president trump's campaign to overturn the presidential election. these leaders told him they would resign and virtually all other high-level trump appointees at the department would resign as well. according to multiple accounts, the white house counsel also threatened to resign.
8:30 pm
important details regarding all of these events remain unknown. how did this plan with mr. clark originate? how did it progress so far western mark -- so far? the american people are entitled to all of these answers. so far, mr. clark has refused to provide these answers. as the chairman indicated, in the last hour, mr. clark attorney told us mr. clark would be willing to appear at another deposition and that he plans to assert his fifth amendment rights. if mr. clark believes answering questions about his discussions with president trump and others in november and december of 2020 and january of 2021 could incriminate him and therefore wishes to invoke privilege on
8:31 pm
that basis, the committee would consider that. we will not finalize this contempt process if mr. clark genuinely cures -- it is important to note that mr. clark is not excused from testifying simply because president trump is trying to hide behind inapplicable claims of executive privilege. mr. clark is refusing to answer austin's that are not conceivably subject to any executive or any other privilege. let me make a larger point. president trump continues to make the same claims about a stolen election with which he has misled millions of americans. these are the same claims he
8:32 pm
knows provoked violence in the past. he recently suggested he wants to debate embers of this committee. this committee's investigation into the violent assault on our capital on january 6 is not a game. when this committee convenes hearings, witnesses will be called to testify under oath. any communications mr. trump has with this committee will be under oath. if he persists in lying, he will be accountable under the laws of this great nation and subject to committal policies -- criminal penalties with every false word he speaks. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield back. >> i call up a report on a resolution recommending that the house of representatives find mr. clark in contempt of congress for refusal to comply with a subpoena to investigate
8:33 pm
the january 6 attack on the united states capital. the report was circulated in advance. the clerk shall designate the report. -- >> to investigate the january 6 attack on the nine states capital. >> without projections, the report will be considered as read. if there is no further debate, i know recognize ms. cheney for promotion. >> i move that the committee favorably report to the house on a resolution recommending that the house of representatives find jeffrey clark in contempt of congress for refusal to
8:34 pm
comply with a subpoena issued by the select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the united states capital. >> the question is on a motion to report to the house. those in favor say i. those opposed say no. the eyes have it. >> i request a recorded vote. >> of recorded vote is requested and the clerk will call oval >> -- a vote. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> aye.
8:35 pm
>> aye. >> aye. >> mr. chairman, you not recorded. >> the chair votes aye. >> the clerk will port the vote. -- report the vote. >> there are nine ayes and zero nos. >> the vice chair is recognized. >> i request that members have two calendar days in which to file with supplements or additional views on the measure reported by the committee tonight. >> without objection, step is authorized to make any necessary conforming changes to the report to reflect the actions of the committee. without objection, the select
8:36 pm
committee stands adjourned.
8:37 pm
>> download c-span's mobile app and stay up-to-date with live video coverage of the biggest political event of the day.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on