Former DOJ official argues for Georgia elections trial to move to federal court

Prosecutors from the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (pictured, 2022) said former DOJ official and Trump adviser Jeffrey Clark's case should remain in state court because his actions went outside of the purview of his role with the Justice Department. File Photo by Erik S. Lesser/EPA-EFE
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Sept. 18 (UPI) -- An attorney for former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark on Monday asked for his client's election-interference case to be moved from Georgia's state court to federal court.

Clark's attorney Harry MacDougald argued at a hearing Monday that Clark was acting as a federal official when he drafted a letter sent to Georgia officials claiming that he had evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

MacDougald explained that Clark sent the letter from his office at the Justice Department using the agency's software.

"Not even one iota of that is even remotely possible unless you are acting under the color of the office," MacDougald said.

The argument was made to U.S. District Judge Steven Jones in an Atlanta court. Prosecutors from the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said Clark's case should remain with the state because his actions went outside of the purview of his role with the Justice Department.

Jeffrey Clark is pictured in this photo provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office on Aug. 25, in Atlanta, Ga. Clark's attorney has asked for his trial over attempting to undermine the election in Georgia to be moved to federal court Monday. Photo via Fulton County Sheriff's Office
Jeffrey Clark is pictured in this photo provided by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office on Aug. 25, in Atlanta, Ga. Clark's attorney has asked for his trial over attempting to undermine the election in Georgia to be moved to federal court Monday. Photo via Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Jody Hunt, who preceded Clark in his role in the Justice Department, affirmed that his duties did not involve election fraud investigations.

Jones did not make a ruling on Clark's request and did not indicate when a ruling would be made.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' request to move his trial to federal court was denied. Photo via Fulton County Sheriff's Office
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' request to move his trial to federal court was denied. Photo via Fulton County Sheriff's Office

Clark's request follows a similar request by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. That request was denied by Jones.

Last week Meadows motioned for a stay of the decision. Like Clark, the state seeks to keep Meadows' case in Georgia.

Superior Court Judge Steve McAfee ruled last week to sever Trump's former attorneys Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell from the other 17 defendants in the case. Their trial will begin on Oct. 23. The date or dates for the other defendants has not been set.