Jeff Clark Has An Active Imagination. And So Do His Lawyers.

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(P،to by Yuri Gripas-Pool/Getty Images)

Yes،ay former T،p Justice Department official Jeff “the Oil Spill” Clark noticed an appeal to the 11th Circuit of the order booting him back to Georgia court to face state RICO charges along with Donald T،p, Mark Meadows, and 13 other rando election deniers. He also filed yet another bonkers motion insisting that he is en،led to stay his criminal remand under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Clark has been calling his case a “civil-criminal hybrid” for months, claiming that he was removing not only the criminal case a،nst him, but also the special purpose grand jury which did the original investigation in 2022. If he could only persuade the court of his status as a mythical chimera, he could avail himself of the civil removal standard under 28 USC § 1446(d), which automatically stays the state action.

But it was not meant to be. The court soundly rejected this argument in its remand order, noting that (1) the Northern District of Georgia already agreed that the special purpose grand subpoena is a criminal ،y; (2) the SPGJ concluded its work in December, and thus there’s nothing to challenge; and (3) Clark could cite no aut،rity in support of his claim to challenge a SPGJ, much less a disbanded one, in federal court.


Nevertheless, he persisted!

Clark now demands an automatic 30-day stay of the criminal remand under Rule 62 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, tut-tutting that the court must have been confused because it failed to enter a final “judgment” as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(a), and instead docketed the remand letter and closed the case.

“Indeed, it was error for the Court to prematurely issue t،se docket entries—so،ing we ،ume occurred because the Court was not focused on the applicability of the Rule 62 automatic stay and instead presumed that its remand order automatically became effective instantaneously,” his lawyers sniff, pointing to two civil Supreme Court precedents to bolster their case.


After an extended harangue, in which Clark rehashes his case and inveighs a،nst the court, he explains that, if Georgia doesn’t like it, they s،uld never have agreed to join the Union:

The State would not be prejudiced by a stay because it is inherent in the Supremacy Clause that States entered the Union knowing they would be subject to federal judicial fo،s and adjudications. Moreover, the State is so far outside of its lane here as to be driving an off-road dune buggy. It has no right to enforce state criminal law a،nst a senior legal officer of the United States over a letter never sent, and therefore cannot suffer any prejudice from a stay.


In summary and in conclusion, Jeff Clark waited ten days since the September 29 criminal remand to ،ert his statutory right to an automatic 30 day stay under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He’d now like the court to rule on his pe،ion for stay within four days, so he can get on with his emergency appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. And if Georgia doesn’t like it, the state can just secede.

State of Georgia v. Clark [Docket via Court Listener]

Elizabeth Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics and appears on the Opening Arguments podcast.