In less than 48 hours before the noon Friday deadline they were up against, former Trump Department of Justice official Jeff Clark and his 18 co-defendants encountered a stern response to his urgent motion. He had requested a postponement of the charges against him and a transfer of his case to federal court.
The indictment against Clark and his co-defendants, which included Donald Trump, revolves around allegations of racketeering concerning their actions during the attempts to overturn the 2020 election.
On Wednesday, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office issued a strongly worded rebuttal, urging the judge to dismiss the motion. The response highlighted that Clark, a former Assistant Attorney General, had misconstrued both the legal aspects and the factual basis of the situation.
Earlier in the week, Clark faced criticism from legal experts for his perceived “entitlement.” He had imposed a 5 PM deadline on the judge overseeing his case, attempting to compel a ruling on his request for an extension of the Friday noon deadline. The indictment against Clark and his co-defendants had been handed down the previous Monday.
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The response, as shared by Politico’s Kyle Cheney, states, “Defendant Jeffrey Bossert Clark has moved this Court for an Emergency Motion to Stay the pending State court criminal proceedings against him based on an apparent misread of the applicable statutes, a misapprehension of the binding caselaw, and a fundamental misunderstanding of criminal procedure—both state and federal.”
Further, it asserts, “Defendant Clark boldly asks this Court for expeditious action when he himself has shown no urgency. The defendant and his co-defendants were indicted on August 14, 2023, with leave by the District Attorney to voluntarily surrender in lieu of arrest by noon on August 25, 2023. The defendant inexplicably waited seven days, until August 21, to even notify this Court through a notice of removal that he intended to argue removal [to federal court] was appropriate. It took him just as long to file the instant demand that this Court issue a stay of the State court proceedings by 5 pm the following day (August 22, 2023).”
In response to Clark’s motion, Willis’s office notes, “The defendant’s Motion demanded a halt to the State Court proceedings to avert the necessity of his ‘rushed travel arrangements to fly into Atlanta’ to present himself for voluntarily surrender by the August 25 deadline in lieu of the service of an arrest warrant, as numerous of his co-defendants have now done.” The response continues, dismissing Clark’s inconvenience in making travel plans as insufficient justification for halting a State felony criminal prosecution.
The response also addresses Clark’s discontent with the prospect of inconvenient travel and his desire to avoid spending time in the Fulton County jail. It highlights several errors in his assertions of fact.
Conclusively, the response asserts that Clark’s objective is to evade the inconvenience and discomfort of arrest or the mandatory State criminal process, but he has not provided any legal basis to support his aims. It asserts, “Defendant is wrong on the law, wrong on the facts, and the Motion should be denied.”