Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Mark Meadows is seeking to move the Fulton County case to federal court

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, one of the co-defendants accused of fraud in the Georgia 2020 election probe, filed court papers Tuesday seeking to transfer the new Fulton County case to federal court.

In a 14-page filing, Meadows argued that the charges in the indictment related to actions he took while serving in the Trump administration.

“Mr. Meadows is entitled to dismiss this matter. The conduct giving rise to the allegations in the indictment all occurred during his tenure and as part of his leadership,” Meadows’ attorneys wrote.

They demanded “immediate removal”. Citing a federal statute This allows a US official to remove a civil action or criminal case against them in state court to the District Court for actions taken “under colour” of their office. Meadows also intends to file a motion to dismiss the indictment “as soon as possible,” his attorneys wrote.

ABC News First reported In Meadows’ filing.

Moving the case to federal court results in a more favorable jury pool for the defendants, and it almost certainly means no cameras are allowed in the courtroom.

The request comes a day after former President Donald Trump, Meadows and 17 other defendants were indicted in connection with efforts to alter the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis opened the investigation.

The DA’s office declined to comment on Meadows’ filing. NBC News has reached out to Meadows’ attorney for comment.

Meadows faces two counts in a 41-count indictment that alleges violating the Georgia Rockets Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and violating the oath of office of a public official.

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According to the indictment, Meadows, Trump and other unindicted co-conspirators “unlawfully solicited, solicited and imported” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger on January 2, 2021.

The indictment cited Trump’s phone call to Raffensberger urging him to “find” the votes needed to win the state against Democrat Joe Biden.

In Tuesday’s filing, Meadows’ attorneys detailed arrangements for Oval Office meetings, contacting state officials on Trump’s behalf, visits to state government buildings and setting up a phone call among Meadows’ chief of staff duties.

“Mr. Meadows has not been charged with the allegations,” they wrote. “One would expect a chief of staff of the President of the United States to do such things.”

The 98-page indictment lists alleged schemes aimed at pressuring government officials to change election results, accessing voting machines and data in rural Coffee County and coercing election worker Ruby Freeman into falsely confessing to election crimes. She didn’t.

Trump shares the charges facing Meadows and faces 11 additional counts stemming from filing false documents, making false statements and writings, and several conspiracy charges. Other top associates were also indicted, including former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clarke.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and Giuliani also denied wrongdoing shortly before the indictment was made public.

During a news conference announcing the charges Monday night, Willis said the defendants have until noon on Aug. 25 to voluntarily surrender.

Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman who now lives in South Carolina, is attempting to testify about his actions in the final weeks of Trump’s presidency.

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He had previously tried to avoid testifying before a grand jury in Willis’ trial, but was forced to testify after losing court challenges.

House January. 6 Meadows refused a subpoena for committee testimony and was referred to the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress charges. The Justice Department declined to prosecute Meadows.

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