Trump’s chief of staff, Meadows, denied two allegations in the indictment against Georgia in his testimony

ATLANTA – Trump’s White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows took the witness stand Monday at a hearing to dismiss two of the allegations against him in an indictment in Georgia that accused him of participating in an illegal plot to overturn the 2020 election to have been involved.

Meadows, who was indicted this month along with former President Donald Trump and 17 others, is seeking to fight the charges in federal court rather than state court. As part of that effort, he testified that he never asked John McEntee, White House Personnel Secretary, to draft a memo to Vice President Mike Pence detailing how confirmation of the election could be delayed.

“When that came out in the indictment, that was the biggest surprise for me,” Meadows said Monday. He later said, “My asking Johnny McEntee for a memo like that just didn’t materialize.”

He also said he did not text Georgia State Department chief investigator Frances Watson, as the indictment alleges. Rather, he said he believes the text was sent to Jordan Fuchs, the Secretary of State’s chief of staff.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who relied on Georgia state law to bring the lawsuit, alleges that Trump, Meadows and the others were involved in a wide-ranging conspiracy to keep the Republican president dead even after he lost the election Democrats illegally keeping Joe Biden in power. Willis argues that Meadows’ actions were political in nature and not part of his official duties.

US District Judge Steve Jones ended the hearing Monday without immediately ruling on Meadow’s request to postpone the trial.

The extraordinary testimony from Trump’s former chief of staff came as two of the former president’s attorneys listened intently in the courtroom. Monday’s hearing in Georgia was about just one of four criminal cases Trump is currently facing. In Washington, a judge leading a federal case over allegations that Trump attempted to illegally undermine the results of the 2020 election has set a hearing date for March 4, 2024, right in the middle of the presidential primary calendar.

Meadows’ attorneys argue that his actions leading to the charges in the indictment “all occurred during his tenure and in the course of his duties as chief of staff.” They argue that he has done nothing criminal and that the charges against him should be dismissed, and they want Jones to escalate the case to federal court to drop all prosecutions against him at the state level.

During Monday’s hearing, Meadows attorney George J. Terdlinger III quickly called his client to the witness stand and asked him about his duties as Trump’s chief of staff. The attorney then walked him through the crimes alleged in the indictment and asked him if he committed them in the course of his job. For most of the acts listed, Meadows indicated that he committed them as part of his official duties.

Under cross-examination, prosecutor Anna Cross went through the same files and asked Meadows what federal policy each file represented. He frequently replied that the federal interest was to ensure accurate and fair elections, but she repeatedly accused him of not answering her question.

Willis’ team argues that the measures in question were designed solely to keep Trump in office. These actions are expressly political in nature and illegal under the Hatch Act, which restricts partisan political activities by federal employees, they wrote in a response to Meadows’ firing notice in federal court. They believe the case should remain in Fulton County Superior Court.