Jeffrey Clark, Former Justice Department Official, Booked in Trump Georgia Case

The next steps in the sprawling racketeering case were still in flux, as legal maneuvering by several of the 19 defendants began. Some were fighting to move their trials to federal court, while others were seeking to go to trial in state court as soon as possible.

Judge Scott McAfee of Fulton County Superior Court, who is overseeing the case, granted one of the defendants, Kenneth Chesebro, a request for a speedy trial, setting the date for Oct. 23, over the objection’s of Mr. Trump’s lawyers. Prosecutors have described Mr. Chesebro, an appellate lawyer, as the architect of a scheme to have fake slates of pro-Trump electors cast votes for him representing states he actually lost.

Another of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell, has also filed court papers asking the judge for the earliest possible trial. Her lawyer, Brian Rafferty, declined to comment on the rationale for the request.

At the same time, Mr. Clark and four other defendants are seeking to have their cases shifted to federal court, a relatively uncommon step known as removal. Under federal law, state criminal prosecutions can be moved to federal court if the case involves federal officials acting “under color” of their office.

Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones rejected efforts by Mr. Clark and Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s former White House chief of staff, to avoid having to be booked at the county jail while their requests to move their trials to federal court were pending. Hearings on their requests are scheduled for September.

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