FIRST ON THE DAILY SIGNAL—The Justice Department’s Kristen Clarke allegedly reached out to her ex-husband Reginald Avery in May 2021, he told The Daily Signal, asking him for a statement saying that she was not a domestic abuser during a confirmation process where she did not disclose her past arrest.

The revelation is significant given that Clarke, at that time, had been nominated for a high-ranking position in the Department of Justice but chose not to disclose her 2006 arrest during a domestic violence incident. She now serves as the assistant attorney general for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.

The Daily Signal first revealed the existence of that arrest, and its subsequent expungement, in an April 30 report that has prompted calls for her resignation from figures including Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Kristen Clarke is in charge of enforcing civil rights laws,” said Lee on April 30. “She enforces those laws aggressively against anyone who sneezes near an abortion clinic. And not at all against those who vandalize churches. She lied under oath during her confirmation proceedings, and should resign.”

New allegations indicate that Clarke sought her ex-husband’s help handling the potential publicization of her arrest just days before she was officially confirmed.

Avery: Clarke Requested a Statement

In May 2021, as some evidence emerged that Clarke might have an arrest in her background, Avery says that Clarke called him with her publicist on the line. According to Avery, Clarke asked him to provide her with a statement that clarified she was not a domestic abuser.

At this point, Clarke’s April 14, 2021, confirmation hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee had already taken place. She had already submitted her “responses for the record” to senators.

That includes her answer to Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton’s question: “Since becoming a legal adult, have you ever been arrested for or accused of committing a violent crime against any person?”

“No,” Clarke responded.

Avery says that at Clarke’s request, he sent an email on May 19, 2021, to his ex-wife’s publicist, Clothilde Ewing. The email, which he shared with The Daily Signal, read: “Kristen Clarke was not an abuser in our relationship.”

Clarke did not end up publicly using the statement from Avery, which related to a 2006 incident wherein Avery says she was arrested after she allegedly stabbed him with a knife. Earlier this month, following the publication of The Daily Signal’s report, Clarke accused Avery of being a domestic abuser but confirmed that she had not disclosed the arrest.

Avery told The Daily Signal that Clarke and Ewing (who did not respond to requests for comment) wanted him to say that Clarke was not “the” abuser in their relationship. He chose to say “an” rather than “the” to avoid giving the impression that he himself was an abuser, he shared.

Since Clarke and Avery share a son (who is now 19), Avery said he was eager to put the matter to to rest. He said his understanding at the time was that Clarke was facing underhanded attacks from conservatives and that his statement would “bring closure to the whole thing.” He does not have a record of the 2021 phone call.

“I thought it was harmless,” he explained of the email. “Looking back, it was a huge mistake, but I didn’t foresee any of this coming. So it was probably stupid on my part. But the bottom line is, they did approach me.”

The same day that Avery sent this email to Ewing, the American Accountability Foundation (AAF)’s Tom Jones published a report on AAF’s findings that the FBI failed to properly vet Clarke when it did not interview Avery.

AAF had distributed that report to its lists around 11:30 a.m. on May 19, 2021. Avery could not recall the exact day on which Clarke called him, but his email to Ewing was sent at 11:50 a.m. on May 19, 2021.

Jones previously told The Daily Signal that he began digging into Clarke’s background during her confirmation process and spoke to Avery around the same time. In early May 2021 text messages, Avery told Jones that Clarke attacked him with a knife, slicing his finger to the bone, during a domestic dispute in July 2006.

“The accusations against Kristen Clarke of lying to Congress and domestic violence are deeply troubling,” Jones told The Daily Signal last week. “Clearly she does not possess the character or integrity to be in any position of power. She must resign now.”

Clarke was confirmed to the DOJ, to lead the Civil Rights Division, on May 25, 2021.

Clarke Accuses Ex-Husband of Domestic Abuse

The revelation comes after The Daily Signal published a report April 30 highlighting evidence that Clarke had not disclosed a 2006 arrest and subsequent expungement during her 2021 confirmation to the DOJ—and then explicitly denied ever having been arrested to Cotton in an interview April 21, 2021.

Clarke has not responded to requests for comment from The Daily Signal, though the DOJ acknowledged receipt of these requests. She did speak to CNN earlier this month, however, confirming that she did not disclose the arrest and expungement and alleging that Avery domestically abused her.

He denied that he had abused his ex-wife in a statement to The Daily Signal, though he did say that Clarke got a restraining order against him shortly before he moved out of their shared home as they were getting divorced (court records show that Avery and Clarke finalized their contentious divorce in 2009).

Clarke got the order “after an argument,” Avery told The Daily Signal. “It was temporary but I just moved out anyway. She lied in court then too. Bunch of nonsense … but I just got my own place. I was so over it.”

That restraining order was the subject of an inquiry from The Washington Post to AAF’s Jones: On May 19, 2021, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin reached out to Jones asking about his “allegation regarding Kristen Clarke’s role in domestic abuse.”

Rubin’s press inquiry to Jones included a query about Avery (who says that Rubin never actually reached out to him).

“Do you have any comment on court documents showing she successfully obtained a restraining order against Reginald Avery?” Rubin asked Jones, who replied with a statement “unequivocally” condemning domestic violence and calling for a proper investigation into Clarke’s background.

Rubin did not respond to inquiries from The Daily Signal as to why she ultimately did not write her story.

Ewing, who Avery said is Clarke’s publicist, is a children’s author who previously worked for “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” for former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and for former President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign. Ewing also has not responded to requests for comment from The Daily Signal.

Calls for Clarke to Resign

The Daily Signal’s reporting on Clarke prompted calls for her to resign from Lee, the New York Post Editorial Board, and more. In early May, a group of conservative leaders called on Clarke to resign from her leadership position in a letter sent to the high-ranking DOJ official.

“The American people have lost trust in your ability to lead the Civil Rights Division,” reads a letter to Clarke, signed by Advancing American Freedom Executive Director Paul Teller, American Accountability Foundation’ Jones, Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins, and CatholicVote President Brian Burch. “We request that you resign immediately.”

That letter repeatedly references The Daily Signal’s reporting and attaches a copy of the original report itself. It also points to Clarke’s enforcement of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act against pro-life activists.

“The American people deserve a Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice led with honesty and integrity,” the letter says. “Since taking over the Civil Rights Division, you have weaponized the Department of Justice by wielding the FACE Act against pro-life Americans in an unprecedented manner—even while standing idly by as churches and pro-life pregnancy centers are vandalized, and Jewish students are unable to attend class on college campuses.”

The DOJ did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

‘She Went to Jail’

When Jones reached out to Avery as part of his 2021 investigation into Clarke’s background and police records, the two men discussed the July 4, 2006, incident over text messages.

“I was seeing another woman,” Avery shared in the May 2021 text message exchange. “She was angry. Attacked me with a knife. I instinctively grabbed it. As I said earlier, I’m not blameless.”

“That’s the story,” Avery insisted. “That’s what happened. She went to jail.”

Prince George’s County Police Department records show that the department was called on nine different occasions by someone at Avery’s and Clarke’s Upper Marlboro, Maryland, household between May 2003 and December 2007.

Seven of those calls were for a “threat” or some type of domestic violence, but most were cleared without a report. The July 4, 2006, call was made by “Mr. Reginald” (Avery’s first name) and accompanied by a 760 code, according to a mainframe print-out from Prince George’s County computer-aided dispatch system obtained by The Daily Signal.

That 760 code is the department’s clearance code for “arrest,” the Prince George County Police Department confirmed. That call was not cleared for four hours. Avery says it was Clarke who was arrested. Clarke has not addressed the specific incident.

The DOJ official’s ex-husband also shared with Jones that on the night of the incident, he called 911 due to his injury and the “cops came because [his] finger was cut off.” (Avery clarified to The Daily Signal that the finger was sliced to the bone, not cut off.) Police allegedly decided to arrest Clarke, and Avery said he went to the emergency room in Bowie, Maryland, for the injury.

Jones and Avery speculated via 2021 text messages about why Clarke would hide the arrest.

“I assume she just thinks she won’t get caught,” Jones queried, to which Avery responded at the time, “Yes, the arrogance has always been there. But I don’t understand lying on a federal application.”