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Judge rejects Meadows’ bid to move Georgia election case to federal court

Meadows' actions were on 'behalf of the Trump campaign'

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows faces two criminal charges in the Georgia racketeering case that accuses former President Donald Trump and others of operating as a “criminal organization” as they sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows faces two criminal charges in the Georgia racketeering case that accuses former President Donald Trump and others of operating as a “criminal organization” as they sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal judge in Georgia on Friday rejected former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ bid to move his election interference case in Georgia to federal court.

Meadows, a former Republican House member from North Carolina, faces two criminal charges in the Georgia racketeering case that accuses former President Donald Trump and others of operating as a “criminal organization” as they sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. 

Meadows was indicted on two charges: on the broader conspiracy and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. He then sought to move the case to federal court and pushed to have the charges thrown out. Attorneys for Meadows said in court filings that his actions fell within the scope of his duties as chief of staff. 

But U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones, of the Northern District of Georgia, ruled that Meadows hadn’t met the threshold to show that his criminal prosecution could be removed under the “federal officer removal statute.” Jones wrote that the court had to decide whether Meadows’ actions were related to his federal role as White House chief of staff.  

“The evidence adduced at the hearing establishes that the actions at the heart of the State’s charges against Meadows were taken on behalf of the Trump campaign with an ultimate goal of affecting state election activities and procedures,” Jones wrote in the order. “Meadows himself testified that working for the Trump campaign would be outside the scope of a White House Chief of Staff.”

The ruling is a win for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, whose office is prosecuting the RICO case. Her office had opposed Meadows’ push to move the case to federal court. 

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