DA Fani Willis Faces Deadline to Respond to Trump Associates' Arrest Requests

Willis has until 3 p.m. ET today to file court submissions in response to requests from Mark Meadows and Jeffrey Clark to avoid arrest in her prosecution of former President Donald Trump and associates

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District Attorney Fani Willis has until 3 p.m. ET today to file court submissions responding to requests by Mark Meadows and Jeffrey Clark – both defendants in her election subversion case against former President Donald Trump and several of his associates – that they be allowed to avoid arrest in her prosecution. 

Mark Meadows & Jeffrey Clark

  • Faces two charges in Fulton County grand jury indictment
  • Seeking to move case to federal court
  • Arguing conduct was done to their roles as federal officials
  • District Attorney Fani Willis has until 3pm ET to respond

The dispute is playing out in federal court in Atlanta. Both Meadows and Clark are seeking to move the state court criminal case against them to federal court, where they argue that the charges against them should be dismissed. As part of that effort, they each filed requests for emergency court orders that would prevent Willis from seeking their arrest if they did not turn themselves in by the Friday noon deadline for self-surrender that Willis has set for the defendants in the case. 

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Meadows, who has a hearing scheduled for Monday in his effort to move the proceedings, had asked for Willis to extend the deadline for turning himself in until at least next week, after the hearing, according to court filings. But she rejected that request, writing in an email to his attorneys that come 12:30 p.m. ET Friday, she would file a warrant in the system for him if he had not self-surrendered. 

Meadows, Trump’s former White House chief of staff, faces two charges in the Fulton County grand jury indictment, which alleges that his participation on the January 2021 Trump call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger was unlawful. Clark faces two charges stemming from his alleged efforts as a then-Justice Department official to aid Trump’s election reversal plots. 

US District Judge Steve Jones, who has been assigned both the Meadows and Clark matters, has indicated he wants to act quickly in response to the emergency orders that would allow Meadows and Clark to avoid arrest. He blew past a Clark request to issue such an order by Tuesday but scheduled the 3 pm Wednesday deadline for Willis’ office to respond.

The judge, an Obama appointee, also set a 3 p.m. ET deadline for the district attorney to respond to the Meadows bid to prevent law enforcement from arresting him at Willis’ request. Jones indicated he would not be accepting additional filings from Meadows and Clark responding to the arguments Willis makes in her submissions – a sign that the judge intends to issue his decisions soon after the Willis filings come in. 

Some context: Both Meadows and Clark are arguing that the alleged conduct for which they are being charged in the case was conducted to their roles as federal officials at the time, and therefore, the charges should be dismissed under a federal law giving certain immunity to people prosecuted for activities done on behalf of the US government. 

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