Trump indictment news in the Georgia election interference case

Jeff Clark speaks during a hearing in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. 
Jeff Clark speaks during a hearing in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023.  Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark is seeking to move the entire Fulton County 2020 election subversion prosecution in Georgia to federal court and has asked the judge to let him avoid turning himself in to local authorities.

In a filing in federal court on Monday, Clark argued that his notice of removal as well as the notice of removal filed by co-defendant Mark Meadows last week has the effect of moving the entire state court case — for all 19 defendants — to federal court.

With the submission to the US District Court of the Northern District of Georgia, Clark is raising similar arguments as Trump White House chief of staff Meadows, claiming that his status as a federal officer when he engaged in the alleged conduct that led to the charges requires the dismissal of the charges against him.

Clark also filed a request that the federal court put an emergency hold on the state court proceedings, “including any attempted issuance or execution of arrest warrants.”

He is asking the federal court to put the Fulton County proceedings on pause by 5 p.m. ET Tuesday.

“If the Court grants a stay or TRO that quickly, Mr. Clark would not need to be put the choice of making rushed travel arrangements to fly into Atlanta or instead risking being labeled a fugitive,” he wrote.

More context: Clark, who faces charges in the Fulton County case stemming from his efforts to assist Trump in the election reversal schemes, is taking an extremely aggressive approach in his request to move the case to federal court. While there is some overlap in the arguments he and Meadows are making, he is arguing that the federal court can take much more sweeping action in response to the notice of removal.

Clark argued in the Monday filings that both the criminal prosecution and the special purpose grand jury proceedings that preceded it should be moved to the US District Court in Atlanta. He claimed that, because the special purpose grand jury was a civil proceeding, his notice automatically triggers the process for the entire case — for all the defendants —to be moved to the district court and for the state court proceedings to be immediately put on hold. 

Legal experts previously told CNN that while there has been much case law that has been developed around civil removal proceedings, removal in criminal proceedings has happened rarely — leaving much unknown about how the requests from the Fulton County defendants would play out. 

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