The judge hears arguments regarding Mark Meadows’ request to transfer the Georgia election case to federal court
ATLANTA (AP) – A federal judge in Atlanta is scheduled to hear arguments Monday over whether Mark Meadows should be allowed to fight Georgia indictment It accused him of participating in an illegal scheme to overturn the 2020 election in federal rather than state court.
The former White House chief of staff was indicted earlier this month with former President Donald Trump and 17 other people. Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Williswhich was used Extortion Law in Georgia To bring the case, they allegedly participated in a widespread conspiracy to illegally attempt to keep the sitting Republican president in power even after he lost the election to Democrat Joe Biden.
Meadows’ attorneys say his actions that gave rise to the charges in the indictment “all occurred during his tenure and as part of his service as chief of staff.” They say he did nothing criminal and the charges against him should be dropped. Meanwhile, they want US District Judge Steve Jones to move the case to federal court to halt any statewide proceedings against him.
Willis’ team argues that the actions in question were intended solely to keep Trump in office. These actions were clearly political in nature and are illegal under the law Hatch Law, which restricts the partisan political activity of federal employees, they wrote in response to Meadows’ notice of removal to federal court. They believe the case should remain in Fulton County Superior Court.
The allegations against Meadows include: participation in meetings or communications with state legislators along with Trump and others that were intended to further the alleged illegal scheme to keep Trump in power; travel to the Atlanta suburbs where the signature check of the ballot envelope was being conducted; Arranging a phone call between Trump and Georgia State Investigator Secretary; Participate in a January 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, with Trump suggesting that Raffensperger could help “find” the votes needed for him to win Georgia.
And since Meadows is “prohibited by law from using his power or influence to interfere with or influence the outcome of an election or otherwise engage in activity directed toward Mr. Trump’s success as a presidential candidate, each and every one of those activities is forfeited.” “Outside the scope of his duties, either in fact or under the law,” says Willis’ team. But even if this were not the case, these actions were clearly not part of his official duties, as they say.
Willis’ team called several witnesses for Monday’s hearing, including Ravensburger, former chief investigator in the office of Georgia Secretary of State Francis Watson, and two attorneys who worked for Trump in Georgia in the aftermath of the election but were not named at the hearing. indictment. They have also provided extracts of statements previously taken from several people, including Meadows’ former aide. Cassidy Hutchinson.
Meadows is not entitled to immunity under the Sovereignty Clause of the US Constitution, which essentially states that federal law takes precedence over state law, because his actions were “improper political activity” and were not part of his official duties, and the evidence shows that, Willis’ team said. He has “personal or criminal motives for acting”.
In response to the Willis team’s filing, Meadows’ attorneys said that all that was in dispute at the moment was whether the case should be transferred to federal court and that he had met that “very low threshold”.
They wrote that Meadows was a federal official and his actions were part of that role, noting that the chief of staff had “wide-ranging duties to advise and assist the President.” They said the merits of his immunity arguments could not be used to decide whether the case should be taken to federal court.
“The Hatch Act is just an excuse, especially at this point,” they added, and should not even be discussed until after the case has been transferred to federal court. “However, Mr. Meadows complied with federal law with respect to the accused conduct,” they wrote.
At least four other defendants in the indictment are seeking to move the case to federal court, including Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. The other three — former Georgia GOP chairman David Schaefer, Georgia state senators Sean Steele and Kathy Latham — are among 16 Georgia Republicans who have signed a certificate falsely declaring Trump won the 2020 presidential election and declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected.” and eligible voters.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com