Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark — one of 18 co-defendants indicted along with Donald Trump in a massive fraud case in Georgia — asked a judge Thursday to throw out the Fulton County district attorney’s proposed March 2024 trial date, according to a new court filing.
The schedule, proposed by District Attorney Fannie Willis, “could be interpreted as an attempt to secure a place in the ranks of ‘bounty’-seeking lawyers trying the former president before the 2024 presidential election,” Clark’s lawyer said.
Clark’s attorney blasted Willis, an elected Democrat, for proposing a trial date and several dates for pretrial proceedings in advance.
“As far as we know, not one of the 19 defendants named in the indictment has ever been served with a warrant, taken into custody, made an initial appearance, or arraigned, or waived a hearing,” said Clarke’s attorney, Harry W. McDougald wrote.
“Since the District Attorney’s Office made no effort to consult with opposing counsel for any of the 19 defendants before filing its pleas, it is not an earthly idea whether any of the proposed dates fit into the calendar of the attorneys involved in representing the defendants,” McDougall added.
Willis has given the 19 defendants in the case until August 25 to voluntarily surrender.
Clark is charged with violating Georgia’s fraud statute, and a criminal attempt to make false statements and writings. He has denied wrongdoing.
As CNN previously reported, Clark drafted a letter that was ultimately never sent, promoting false claims of voting irregularities and urging Georgia lawmakers to consider expelling Joe Biden’s legitimate voters. The draft letter urged top Georgia officials to call the state legislature into a special session to evaluate alleged “improperties” in the 2020 election.
Clark lobbied Trump to make him acting attorney general so he could send the letter and allow the Justice Department to intervene in the Georgia election, but the former president decided not to put Clark in charge after other senior Justice officials threatened to resign.