A federal judge has denied last-minute attempts by Mark Meadows and Jeffrey Clark to avoid being arrested in the Fulton County, Georgia, election interference case if they fail to appear on time for their arraignments on the charges.
Both the former White House chief of staff and the former top Justice Department official wanted to block any attempts to arrest them for ignoring the deadline set two weeks ago for the 19 defendants in the state indictment to turn themselves in, according to The Hill.
Meadows and Clark separately argued to halt their arrests and other state proceedings while they try to move the case to federal court.
In Clark’s case, he took an approach unusual for a defendant in a criminal case and actually demanded that the judge respond to his request by 5 p.m. Tuesday, which drew ridicule from legal experts.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis argued against both requests on Tuesday, pointing out that Meadows and Clark had “2 weeks for people to surrender themselves to the court.” She also said she will file arrest warrants if they do not show by 12:30 p.m. Friday.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones waited until late Wednesday afternoon to deny Clark’s request in a six-page ruling.
The judge also nixed Meadows’ request in a separate ruling but has not yet decided whether to allow the charges against Meadows and Clark to be transferred to a federal court.
You can read the decision against Clark in the tweet below from Politico reporter Kyle Cheney.
So far, the defendants indicted in Donald Trump’s election interference case in Georgia who’ve been arrested and booked include lawyers John Eastman, Rudy Giuliani, Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro and Ray Smith; Republican poll watcher Scott Hall, former Georgia GOP chair David Shafer and former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham.
Former President Donald Trump is expected to turn himself in Thursday at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta. He is charged with violating a state anti-racketeering law and several other counts in the indictment handed up on Aug. 14.
Willis’ investigation focused on efforts in the state to get officials to change the 2020 presidential vote count to make Trump the winner instead of Biden, part of a larger scheme to overturn the election.