On Monday, Jeffrey Clark, a former Trump administration official, requested that a federal judge assume control of his case in Fulton County, Georgia.
Fani Willis, the District Attorney of Fulton County, has charged Jeffrey Clark, along with 18 other defendants, including former President Donald Trump, with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute and various other crimes.
During his tenure in the Trump administration, Jeffrey Clark held the position of Assistant Attorney General in the environment and natural resources division. He is now facing charges related to violating the RICO statute and attempting to commit false statements and writings.
The false statements charge is based on a letter Clark wrote, in which he asserted that the U.S. Department of Justice had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.”
Willis’s office contested Clark’s assertion that he wrote the letter while acting in an official capacity, deeming his claims as unfounded.
Clark’s legal team presented the removal motion before U.S. District Judge Steve Jones during a Monday hearing. His attorney, Harry MacDougald, informed the judge that the letter was essentially a “proposal” and contended that Clark had the right to hold his own legal opinions.
Jeffery Clark is seeking to have his case moved to federal court in FC case Trump co-defendant Jeffrey Clark seeks to move Georgia election case to federal court https://t.co/wEF1X1pZsd
— debbie earley (@doxiedebbie) September 18, 2023
MacDougald strongly asserted, “Not even one iota of that is even remotely possible unless you are acting under the color of the office.” Under federal law, a state case can be transferred to federal court if the prosecution involves actions taken “under color of such office.”
MacDougald explained that the matter addressed in the letter fell within his client’s jurisdiction because former President Trump had assigned it to him.
Judge Jones, who previously denied former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s request to move his trial to federal court, clarified that his previous decision did not impact the cases of other co-defendants who had also filed notices.
Clark’s case received support for his removal motion from former United States Attorney General Edwin Meese, who provided a 19-page affidavit in favor of Clark’s argument.
Meese’s affidavit referenced an opinion from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel. This opinion stated that assistant attorneys general are not restricted to a particular division or set of duties and can be assigned various roles at the Attorney General’s discretion.
Meese went on to explain, “The Attorney General reports directly to the President, granting the President the authority to assign duties to the Assistant Attorneys General as deemed appropriate.”
Meese said, “In short, taking positions on legal issues relating to the conduct of the 2020 election and consideration of whether to pursue the policy option inherent in the alleged draft letter were not strictly off limits or out of bounds for Mr. Clark.”
Judge Jones did not specify when he would make a decision following the conclusion of Monday’s lengthy three-hour hearing.