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In Big Victory Against Lawfare, DC Court Of Appeals Smacks Down Jeff Clark Subpoena

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The D.C. Bar’s case against Jeff Clark is part of a widespread and well-funded effort by Democrats to make it illegal to be a Republican lawyer.


Trump-era Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark won a big victory against Democrat lawfare on Monday when the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled he did not have to comply with a subpoena issued by the D.C. Bar’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel.

The appeals court denied the D.C. Bar’s attempt to enforce its subpoena against Clark because it “infringes on Mr. Clark’s Fifth Amendment right not to be compelled to be a witness against himself.” The court did not release a full opinion but promised to do so in the future.

The victory for Clark serves as a shocking blow to Democrats, who have tried to disbar more than 100 attorneys who agreed to work on election integrity cases following the 2020 presidential election. They’ve expanded that lawfare to attorneys across the nation who defend conservatives, including half of Republican attorneys general.

The D.C. Bar’s Disciplinary Counsel Hamilton P. Fox III initially charged the former head of the Department of Justice’s environment division in July 2022 with “attempted dishonesty” and “attempted serious interference with the administration of justice.”

Fox tried to subpoena Clark in 2021, shortly after the sham January 6 Committee failed to, but that demand was rendered effectively moot once he filed charges. Shortly after he announced the charges against Clark, Fox issued another subpoena in October 2022 demanding access to the former Trump official’s documents.

Among the requested materials was information about his draft letter to Georgia officials noting the DOJ “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the [2020] election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.” Clark is one of the 19 “co-conspirator” targets in Democrats’ wide-ranging election indictment in Fulton County.

Clark once again resisted the Fox subpoena because it would violate his executive, law enforcement, deliberative process, and attorney-client privileges, as well as deprive him of his Fifth Amendment rights.

In mid-2023, the D.C. Bar began pushing for court-ordered enforcement of the subpoena, but it wasn’t until December that the D.C. Court of Appeals demanded Clark’s compliance. Clark quickly filed a motion to reconsider and requested a hearing. During oral arguments to the three-judge panel on Friday, Clark’s legal team argued the D.C. Bar’s demands would violate Clark’s Fifth Amendment rights. The court agreed.

Clark’s legal team previously established that the D.C. Bar “has attempted to exercise disciplinary authority over a high-ranking, Senate-confirmed federal government official for actions taken in the course of his duty.”

The D.C. Bar’s case against Clark is part of a widespread and well-funded effort by Democrats to make it illegal to be a Republican lawyer. Several Trump-affiliated lawyers, including John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani, have faced punishment for their roles in election cases. That is why Clark’s victory is so significant.

Clark will head to trial on March 26.

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