Ex-Sheriff Clarke denies he’s still under FBI investigation for plane incident

Former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke Jr. on Friday night denied reports that he was under FBI investigation after several news outlets reported on a March search warrant that had been filed targeting Clarke’s personal email address.

Clarke was accused in January of ordering his deputies to question a man who Clarke believed showed him disrespect on an airplane. In a tweet on Friday, Clarke accused the “lib media” of reporting a story from earlier in the year as current news, and provided a PDF of a letter from U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad announcing that no criminal charges would be filed in the case.


“Lib media did a drive-by hit job on me today with a FAKE NEWS STORY that I am under investigation by the FBI,” Clarke tweeted. “It’s a LIE. Last MAY the US Atty’s office found NO EVIDENCE of wrongdoing for doing police work. Lying Lib media took a story from LAST MAY & reports this today as new.”

Multiple news outlets reported Friday on the unsealing of an application for a search warrant in the case that detailed the complaint from the man, Daniel Black, against Clarke, including Black’s accusation that Clarke ordered him illegally detained for hours.

“They found no wrongdoing, that case is closed,” Clarke told Fox News on Friday. “Here we are in December and they are trying to re-dig this story, re-hash it, with lies interwoven in between it to make it seem like this is something new.”

The application actually shows that a Milwaukee County investigation found it to be “credible” that Clarke was “in excess of his lawful authority to direct his deputies to stop and question Black without legal justification.”

It is also unclear to which news outlets Clarke is referring, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Huffington Post, the Washington Examiner and other media outlets reported the news while noting the criminal case is not active.

In his complaint, Black argues that any sheriff would have reasonably known that political opinions are not a valid reason to take someone for questioning.

“A reasonable sheriff deputy would have known that it is unlawful to stop, arrest and interrogate a citizen to investigate their political opinions,” the complaint reads.

The FBI’s investigation concluded with the letter sent to Clarke, but Black’s civil rights lawsuit against Clarke remains open.

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