Former Attorney General Edwin Meese has called the prosecution of former President Donald Trump and former Justice Department employee Jeffrey Clark in Georgia an unprecedented “affront” to federal constitutional authority.
In a declaratory declaration to U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, Meese, 91, who led the Justice Department under Ronald Reagan, denounced the prosecution of Trump and Clark, stating that the case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was unprecedented. Jones has been in charge of objections against Trump and his associates’ prosecution in Georgia for alleged offenses committed after the 2020 election.
“I am not aware of any state criminal prosecution ever being brought against a President and a senior Justice Department official like Mr. Clark for their privileged and confidential discussions of whether and how to assert federal law enforcement authority other than this new State of Georgia v. Trump, et al. Indictment,” Meese wrote last week.
“The prosecution of the President and [Clark] is a major affront to federal supremacy never before seen in the history of our country. If the premise of this prosecution were to be accepted, then state law enforcement officials could arrest local U.S. Attorneys and their Assistants while they were deliberating over whether and/or how to approach a possible prosecution of state or local officials,” he added.
Meese was alluding to the “Supremacy Clause” of the Constitution, which states that the Constitution and subsequent laws made under the authority of the United States “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
The filing pointed back to the Civil Rights era when state and federal authorities conflicted over civil rights legislation. Meese said that, under Fulton County’s interpretation, state or local authorities could “enter the Oval Office and arrest the President and his Attorney General during their deliberations over whether and to what extent to assert federal law enforcement powers against state or local officials.”
“Not even George Wallace or Orval Faubus, during the heights of the heated civil rights-era disputes, were willing to go that far against President Kennedy and his Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy,” Meese wrote.
Clark faces one count of breaching Georgia’s RICO Act and another of criminal attempts to make false statements and writings. The accusations derive from Clark’s time at the DOJ when he produced a letter that he intended to present to Georgia officials, claiming that the DOJ had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election in multiple States, including the State of Georgia.”
Clark has stated that he was acting within the scope of his official duties, although he has been accused of spreading misleading information. He claims he and DOJ officials disagreed on the 2020 election. Clark agreed with Meese, claiming that he was acting within his official authority.