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Washington — A federal judge on Friday denied an effort by former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark to move his case related to the 2020 presidential election from state court in Georgia to federal court.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones said in a 31-page order that Clark had failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that removal of the prosecution by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is warranted.

Jones sent the case back to the Fulton County Superior Court, where charges against Clark and 18 others, including former President Donald Trump, were brought last month. Clark is charged with two counts as part of the sweeping racketeering case stemming from an alleged effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. He pleaded not guilty to both charges on Sept. 1.

The charges against Clark related to a letter he drafted and submitted to top-ranking Justice Department officials in December 2020, which was addressed to Georgia legislative leaders and claimed the department had “significant concerns” about the outcome of the state’s presidential election. The proposed letter encouraged the state lawmakers to convene the Georgia General Assembly to take action regarding the state’s presidential electors, falsely suggesting that there were two competing slates of legitimate presidential electors in Georgia: one supporting Mr. Biden and one supporting Trump.

After a Fulton County grand jury returned an indictment against Clark on charges related to his alleged conduct after the election, he sought to move the case to federal court and argued he was acting as a federal officer at the time the letter was given to Justice Department leaders.

Jones held a hearing over his request earlier this month, and determined that “there is no federal jurisdiction over Clark’s criminal prosecution,” according to the written order.