'Wrong on the law, wrong on the facts': Fani Willis smacks down indicted Trump DOJ official’s legal move

'Wrong on the law, wrong on the facts': Fani Willis smacks down indicted Trump DOJ official’s legal move
Former Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division Jeffrey Clark. Image via screengrab/ABC News.

Less than 48 hours before the noon Friday deadline he and his 18 co-defendants face, former Trump Dept. of Justice official Jeff Clark received a brutal response to his emergency motion requesting a stay of the charges against him and his case be moved to federal court.

Clark and his co-defendants including Donald Trump were indicted on racketeering charges over their alleged actions surrounding attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ office, in a scathing rebuke Wednesday, urged the judge to deny the motion, saying Clark, a former Assistant Attorney General, is “wrong on the law, wrong on the facts.”

Clark was roundly mocked by legal experts on Tuesday for what some called his “entitlement,” after he attempted to impose a 5 PM deadline on the judge presiding over his case, wanting them to rule on his request for an extension of the Friday noon deadline. Clark and the other 18 co-defendants were indicted last week on Monday.

Willis’ office repeatedly slammed Clark.

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“Defendant Jeffrey Bossert Clark has moved this Court for an Emergency Motion to Stay the pending State court criminal proceedings against him based on an apparent misread of the applicable statutes, a misapprehension of the binding caselaw, and a fundamental misunderstanding of criminal procedure—both state and federal,” the response, posted by Politico’s Kyle Cheney, reads.

“Defendant Clark boldly asks this Court for expeditious action when he himself has shown no urgency,” the response continues. “The defendant and his co-defendants were indicted on August 14, 2023, with leave by the District Attorney to voluntarily surrender in lieu of arrest by noon on August 25, 2023. The defendant inexplicably waited seven days, until August 21, to even notify this Court through a notice of removal that he intended to argue removal [to federal court] was appropriate. It took him just as long to file the instant demand that this Court issue a stay of the State court proceedings by 5 pm the following day (August 22, 2023).”

“The defendant’s Motion demanded a halt to the State Court proceedings to avert the necessity of his ‘rushed travel arrangements to fly into Atlanta’ to present himself for voluntarily surrender by the August 25 deadline in lieu of the service of an arrest warrant, as numerous of his co-defendants have now done,” Willis’s office writes in their motion.

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“As inconvenient as modern air travel can admittedly be, whatever nuisance involved in the defendant securing a flight to Atlanta within the window provided is self-evidently insufficient justification to invoke this Court’s authority to enjoin a State felony criminal prosecution,” the response from Willis’ office continues, which Cheney called “snark.”

Later, the response mentions Clark’s “displeasure at the prospect of inconvenient travel and a desire not to spend any time at the Fulton County jail.” It also points to what it calls “a series of mistaken assertions of fact.”

Ultimately, it concludes that Clark “seeks to avoid the inconvenience and unpleasantness of being arrested or subject to the mandatory State criminal process, but provides this Court no legal basis to justify those ends. Defendant is wrong on the law, wrong on the facts, and the Motion should be denied.”

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