Court Pushes Forward Fani Willis’ Charges Against Trump-Backing Ex-Official

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A co-defendant to former President Donald Trump in the criminal case in Georgia from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis alleging a wide-ranging conspiracy targeting the state’s election results from 2020 has no chance of “success on the merits” in a fight over his case, a federal court has ruled.

He was seeking a hold on his criminal proceedings while his federal appeals moved forward. This fellow defendant, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, is trying to move proceedings against him from the case by Willis to federal court on the basis of claimed protections from such legal matters for individuals who’ve served in federal positions and are challenged in relation to those roles. The rejection that hit Clark, from an appeals court, cited what appeared to be other proceedings stemming from the same Georgia case in which former White House official Mark Meadows was also indicted and also tried to move proceedings against him to federal court.

“Clark also has not made the requisite showing that would entitle him to a discretionary stay,” the appeals court said. “Former federal officers may not invoke the federal-officer removal statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1). Georgia v. Meadows, No. 23-12958, at 10 (11th Cir. 2023). So Clark cannot show any chance of success on the merits. Without even a chance of success on the merits, there can be no basis for granting a stay. We therefore deny his motion.”

Succeeding in a move to federal court could precede a dismissal of the proceedings against a defendant successful as such if they prove their challenged actions were within the bounds of legally protected federal responsibilities. Others from the Georgia case who’ve tried and failed to make the move include multiple individuals who signed on as sham electors for Trump from the state after the 2020 presidential election despite Biden’s win there. Willis’ case only charged a subset of the Georgia group, though individuals who joined other states’ versions of the plots have now been charged in Michigan and Nevada as well.