Mark Meadows Faces Five-Hour Grilling In Bid to Avoid State Court – Former Donald Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows took the witness stand for a five-hour testimony aimed at transferring his indictment in Fulton County, Georgia, to federal court.
Meadows faces two charges in a 41-count indictment that also implicates former President Donald Trump and 17 others.
The charges against him are linked to Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute, accusing him of soliciting an official to breach his oath of office.
Willis Moves Against Meadows
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis cited Meadows’ involvement in arranging calls between Trump and various state legislators as evidence of his alleged violation of state law.
An excerpt from the indictment revealed by Pro-MAGA Breitbart News reads:
“On or about the 23rd day of December 2020, DONALD JOHN TRUMP placed a telephone call to Office of the Georgia Secretary of State Chief Investigator Frances Watson that had been previously arranged by MARK RANDALL MEADOWS. During the phone call, DONALD JOHN TRUMP falsely stated that he had won the November 3, 2020, presidential election in Georgia “by hundreds of thousands of votes” and stated to Watson that “when the right answer comes out you’ll be praised.”
Meadows’ legal team had previously filed a motion to have the case moved to federal court, contending that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution protected his actions while serving as chief of staff.
According to Meadows’ attorneys George Terwilliger and Joseph Englert, “Nothing Mr. Meadows is alleged in the indictment to have done is criminal per se.”
Georgia prosecutors challenged Meadows on his actions, invoking the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of their work. Prosecutors argued that Meadows’ involvement in promoting the goal of “accurate and fair elections” was against federal law.
U.S. District Court Judge Steve C. Jones’ ruling in this matter is expected to have a hefty impact on the case against Trump and the 18 co-defendants, as four other defendants – ex DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, Georgia lawmaker Shawn Still, former Georgia Republican chairman David Shafer and alleged “fake elector” Cathy Latham have also applied to have their cases shifted to a federal court.
Will Transferring Help Meadows and Co?
Transferring a case to federal court in Georgia may lead to a broader and more politically diverse jury pool compared to Fulton County, which is predominantly Democratic. However, there’s no guarantee of a favorable jury.
The case would also navigate federal appeals courts more smoothly and potentially reach the conservative-leaning US Supreme Court.
Moving to federal court might also grant lawyers more time and exclude cameras from the courtroom.
However, it’s crucial to note that even if cases are moved to federal court, neither former President Trump nor any future Republican president could issue pardons for state crimes due to the limitations of presidential pardon power. Georgia’s lengthy pardons process could mean years before any legal relief is possible, if at all.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.