Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has officially filed a motion to move the election tampering case against him out of Fulton County, Georgia to federal court.
(Video Credit: ABC 7 Chicago)
Meadows was indicted on Monday along with Trump and 17 others over the 2020 election in the state. He is focusing on the charges against him and claims that since he was operating at the time as White House chief of staff, he has the right to request a federal trial and not a localized state one, according to the Daily Mail.
He is being charged with felony counts for violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and solicitation and soliciting the violation of oath by a public officer for allegedly attempting to overturn President Biden’s 2020 presidential election win in the state.
The second charge is evidently related to Meadows being present during Trump’s infamous call with Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on January 2 when the then-president asked Raffensperger to “find” votes.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump stated at the time.
(Video Credit: FOX 5 Atlanta)
The Washington Post’s reporting prompted Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to launch her investigation, which culminated in Trump, Meadows, and others being indicted Monday night.
Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger and his Atlanta-based counterpart Joseph Englert both contended on Tuesday in the filed motion that the case should be moved to federal court because he was working as a federal official at the time.
“A federal law, known as a ‘removal statute,’ generally allows an ‘officer of the United States’ facing charges in state court to transfer the proceedings to federal court if the alleged behavior falls under their governmental duties,” Politico reported.
This is a good and thorough motion by serious lawyers. Mark Meadows remains one of the grownups. https://t.co/yldkcRBYaT
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 15, 2023
Trump, who is facing 13 charges, is expected to make the same motion in order to move his case out of Georgia, according to ABC News.
Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is also facing 13 charges in the Fulton County case and noted during his radio show Tuesday that one of the laws cited in Meadows’ request should qualify his case for “almost an automatic removal” to federal court, according to CNN.
“Nothing Mr. Meadows is alleged in the indictment to have done is criminal per se: arranging Oval Office meetings, contacting state officials on the President’s behalf, visiting a state government building, and setting up a phone call for the President,” Terwilliger asserted in the filing.
The Georgia indictment overreaches so badly on both legal theory and facts it is almost comic. (Though the stakes couldn’t be higher.) To wit:
Mark Meadows faces charges in part for sending a text.
To a Congressman.
Asking for phone numbers.
Of people in Pennsylvania. pic.twitter.com/talPrRxzwD
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) August 15, 2023
“One would expect a Chief of Staff to the President of the United States to do these sorts of things,” he added. “This is precisely the kind of state interference in a federal official’s duties that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits, and that the removal statute shields against.”
According to Meadows’ attorney, he plans to ask for the case against him to be dismissed entirely but would pursue that avenue at a “later date.”
The lawyer argued that moving the case to federal court would “halt the state-court proceedings against Mr. Meadows.”
“That will allow for the timely consideration of Mr. Meadows’s defenses, including his federal defense under the Supremacy Clause, without requiring him to defend himself in state court simultaneously,” the filing noted.
An Obama appointee, District Judge Steve Jones, has been assigned Meadows’ case.
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