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Trump ally Clark loses bid to divert disciplinary charges against him


(Reuters) – A federal court on Thursday rejected former Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark’s request to intervene in a legal disciplinary case pending against him over his efforts to help former President Donald Trump overturn his 2020 election loss.

Clark had tried to stop an entity of the District of Columbia bar association from pursuing disciplinary proceedings against him, saying it lacked jurisdiction, but U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras ruled that D.C. Bar’s disciplinary counsel could proceed with its case.

Clark had asked that the case be handled in federal court.

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

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

The D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, part of the D.C. 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 center on efforts by Clark to pressure then-Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen and his deputy, Richard Donoghue, to launch investigations in Georgia based on Trump’s bogus claims of voting fraud there.

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

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

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

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