Trump ally Clark loses bid to deflect disciplinary charges against him

(Reuters) – A federal court on Thursday denied former Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark’s request to intervene in an ongoing judicial disciplinary case against him for his efforts to help former President Donald Trump overturn his 2020 election defeat.

Clark had tried to block an entity of the District of Columbia Bar Association from pursuing disciplinary proceedings against him, claiming it lacked jurisdiction, but U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled that the DC Bar’s disciplinary attorney could proceed with his case.

Clark had requested that the case be heard in federal court.

He previously headed the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and temporarily headed the Civil Division.

The DC Bar is seeking an ethics case against him stemming from his efforts at the Justice Department to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

DC’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, part of the DC Bar, last year filed ethics charges against him for allegedly attempting to “engage in conduct involving dishonesty” and attempting actions “that would seriously interfere with the administration of justice”.

The charges relate to Clark’s efforts to pressure Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, to launch investigations in Georgia based on Trump’s false election fraud allegations.

Clark could not be reached for comment on Thursday. One of his attorneys previously said the ethics case against Clark represented a “gross abuse” of the disciplinary function and would set a “dangerous precedent”.

Clark had filed three separate filings to withdraw his case from the District of Columbia, and all three were consolidated into one, Contreras said in his ruling.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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