Two co-defendants in the Georgia election case have joined Mark Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, in trying to bring their charges to federal court.
Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official, and David Shafer, one of the state’s bogus voters, both filed letters of resignation on Monday.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) last week indicted former President Trump and 18 others in a sprawling 41 count indictment stemming from their efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Meadows, Clark and Shafer are the first of the co-defendants to try to transfer to federal court, which would come with a federal judge and a potentially more Republican jury pool compared to state court. Meadows filed his takedown request last week.
All three men argue that their charges should be moved because they are tied to their roles as federal officers and they will conduct federal defenses, including immunity and First Amendment arguments.
“He was a senior official of the United States Department of Justice at all relevant times applicable to the Fulton County Action and the allegations therein are directly related to his work at the Department of Justice and to the former President of the United States” , wrote Harry MacDougald. , Clark’s attorney.
Shafer’s lawyers similarly wrote that his conduct “grows directly out of his service as a presidential candidate, acting under the authority of the Constitution and the Voter Number Act.”
Clark also went a few steps further. He claimed that the entire case should be moved to federal court, not just his allegations, based on the relevant precedent.
He is also seeking to move the special grand jury proceeding to federal court, which has not voted on the indictment, but has rather heard testimony and recommended charges.
Clark suggested that adding the special grand jury to the takedown notice would require the state’s criminal proceedings to be automatically paused. Clark’s attorney indicated he will seek emergency assistance to prevent Georgia from executing arrest warrants.
“The Fulton County Action used civil action to expand the powers of an ordinary grand jury in Georgia to include the powers of a special grand jury,” Clark’s attorney wrote. This voluntary choice of the state requires the state to take the bitter with the sweet, for the state cannot create such a fusion of civil and criminal powers and then deny the impact of using those civil powers as a launching pad for this case.”
Willis gave the co-defendants Friday a deadline to voluntarily surrender or serve an arrest warrant. The first defendant, a bail bondsman named Scott Hall, surrendered on Tuesday.
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