WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark confirmed that federal law enforcement agents raided his home this week, the day after a congressional panel spotlighted his role in seeking to help President Donald Trump overturn his 2020 loss.
Clark, in an interview on Fox News Thursday night, confirmed federal agents searched his Virginia home and took his electronic devices in what he said he believed as a politically motivated action.
"At one point 12 agents and two Fairfax County Police Officers went into my house, searched it for 3.5 hours," he said. "They took all of the electronics from my house."
News of the pre-dawn raid surfaced on Thursday as the U.S. House of Representatives committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol began its fifth hearing, this one centered on Trump's efforts to replace the acting U.S. Attorney General with Clark, a staunch supporter of Trump's false claims of widespread election fraud.
Former top Justice Department officials cast Clark, then an environmental lawyer, as incompetent and unqualified and said the move was abandoned only when most of the department leadership threatened to resign en masse.
Clark was previously deposed by the committee but repeatedly invoked his legal right not to answer questions that might be self-incriminating under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The Justice Department is carrying out its own investigation into the deadly Jan. 6, 2021 attack when Trump supporters violently mobbed the U.S. Capitol as lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence sought to formally recognize Democrat Joe Biden's 2020 presidential win.
Clark accused the department's search and the House hearings of being "highly politicized." Representatives for the department and the committee could not be immediately reached for comment.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Scott Malone and Nick Macfie)