In a filing from Friday, Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis went after the arguments from Trump co-defendant Jeffrey Clark for moving the allegations against him from Willis to federal court. Willis brought charges against former President Donald Trump, Clark, and others for alleged involvement in a criminal conspiracy targeting her state’s election results from 2020, when Joe Biden nabbed a narrow victory in the southeastern locale.
In short, Willis argued in the Friday filing that Clark’s allegedly criminal misconduct simply doesn’t fall in the realm of federal responsibilities and disputes that would ordinarily be covered by the provisions allowing for moving some such cases to federal court. Clark worked in the federal Justice Department under Trump, and Clark pushed the idea to superiors of his at the department of sending a deceptive letter to officials in Georgia that pushed ideas of potentially widespread election fraud and the approval of alternate slates of electors beyond the electoral college members from the state who supported Biden.
Willis argued in court that none of this matched his experience or role at the Justice Department, adding Clark was repeatedly and specifically rebuffed by higher-ups as well, indicating the efforts also fell outside the recognizable purview of the Justice Department’s work as a whole. Accepting that Clark’s work did fall within the Justice Department’s routine responsibilities would perhaps mandate accepting the idea that his work had some sincere legitimacy — which might in turn require the idea that widespread election fraud was a real possibility. In other words, it seems difficult to imagine Clark succeeding.
“In short, the defendant sought to peddle a lie and place the imprimatur of the Department of Justice upon that lie,” Willis wrote in her new filing. “He was told by the chief officers of the DOJ that his claim was a lie, that he did not have authority to make the claim at all, and that it was not the DOJ’s role to make such a claim, but he persisted in attempting to send the letter containing his claim anyway. Although the defendant exceeded the scope of his own authority and the authority of the entire Department of Justice, he argues to this Court that he was somehow acting under color of office and taking actions that were necessary and proper to his duties.”