Trump adviser Mark Meadows opposed moving the Georgia case to federal court

  • A federal judge rejected a request from Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to move his Georgia election conspiracy criminal trial to federal court.
  • The judge said in a lengthy order that Meadows had failed in his duty to show that the removal of the case from Georgia state court was proper under a law governing trials of federal officials.
  • Meadows was indicted last month along with Trump and 17 other co-defendants on charges related to their efforts to overturn Trump’s loss in the 2020 election in Georgia to President Joe Biden.

Mark Meadows in a police booking mugshot released by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.

Fulton County Sheriff’s Office | via Reuters

A judge on Friday rejected a request from Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to move his criminal trial on election conspiracy charges in Georgia to a federal court in Atlanta.

The decision keeps Meadows’ case in Fulton County Superior Court, a Georgia state court in Atlanta.

Hours after the ruling, Meadows’ lawyers filed a notice saying they will appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Meadows was indicted last month, along with Trump and 17 other co-defendants, by a grand jury in that court on charges related to their efforts to overturn former President Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 election in Georgia to President Joe Biden.

Trump’s lawyer told a Fulton County judge in a filing Thursday that the former president may soon seek to move his own case to federal court. Four other defendants besides Meadows have already filed such motions.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones said in his lengthy order Friday in federal court in Atlanta that Meadows had failed to meet his burden of proving that the transfer of his case from Fulton County court there was pursuant to a law that allows the removal of lawsuits against federal officials from state ones courts are allowed to be proper.

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“The court concludes that Meadows has not established that the actions that triggered the state’s prosecution were related to his federal office,” wrote Jones, who held a hearing on the motion last week.

“Meadows’ alleged connection to post-election activities had nothing to do with his role as White House chief of staff or his executive authority.”

Jones pointed out that only one of the eight alleged flagrant crimes committed by Meadows, when he asked Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pennsylvania, for telephone numbers of the heads of the Pennsylvania Legislature on Trump’s behalf, was “within Meadows’ purview.” Federal Office could have taken place.”

“The actions underlying the state’s charges against Meadows were taken on behalf of the Trump campaign with the ultimate goal of influencing state election activities and procedures,” Jones wrote.

“Meadows himself has stated that working for the Trump campaign would be outside the responsibilities of a White House chief of staff,” added Jones, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama.

If any of the other defendants do manage to have their cases transferred to federal court, they will still face the same state criminal charges and the same prosecutors from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

Although Jones said in his order that his denial of Meadows’ request for removal would not affect the same requests made by other defendants, it probably doesn’t bode well for those offers.

Experts believed that Meadows, unlike Trump, had the best chance of having the case transferred to federal court because he held a federal post and lived in Washington, D.C. at the time of the alleged crimes.

The federal court in Atlanta is seen as a potentially more favorable venue for defendants than the state court because its jury pool covers a larger area and therefore likely includes more Republicans.