A federal judge is set to hear arguments on Monday regarding the efforts to move the Georgia election subversion case involving former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to federal court. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has accused Meadows, Clark, former President Donald Trump, and 16 others of participating in a scheme to overturn President Joe Biden’s election victory. The 41-count indictment includes charges under the state’s anti-racketeering law, and all 19 defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Meadows previously attempted to move his case to federal court but was rejected by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, who stated that the actions outlined in the indictment were taken on behalf of the Trump campaign and not part of Meadows’ official duties. While this ruling may indicate a challenging path for Clark and the other defendants, Judge Jones has emphasized that each case will be assessed individually.
Moving the case to federal court would result in a jury pool from a broader area beyond Fulton County, which is predominantly Democratic. Additionally, the trial would not be televised or photographed, as cameras are not allowed in federal courtrooms. However, a conviction under state law would not enable Trump or any future president to issue pardons.
The indictment alleges that Clark wrote a letter after the November 2020 election, falsely claiming that the Justice Department had identified concerns that could have impacted the election outcome in multiple states, including Georgia. Clark’s lawyers argue that the actions outlined in the indictment relate to his work at the Justice Department and with the former president. They claim that the state has no authority to criminalize advice given to the president by a senior Justice Department official.
Prosecutors contend that Clark had no authority over elections or criminal investigations in his two roles at the Justice Department. They state that top department officials informed Clark that his central claim in the letter was false and outside the department’s role, with one official describing it as the department meddling in the outcome of a presidential election.
Mark Meadows, who is appealing Judge Jones’ ruling, previously testified for nearly four hours, discussing his duties as Trump’s chief of staff. It remains uncertain whether Clark will choose to testify, as his lawyers have submitted a sworn statement from him outlining his service in the Justice Department.
Jeffrey Clark was also identified as one of six unnamed co-conspirators in an indictment filed by special counsel Jack Smith, charging Trump with seeking to illegally overturn the 2020 election results and obstruct the peaceful transfer of power to Biden. However, Clark has not been charged in that case.
Federal agents searched Clark’s Virginia home in the summer of 2022, and video footage emerged showing him handcuffed and without pants in his driveway.