A legal scholar cautions that Fulton County, Georgia’s District Attorney, Fani Willis, may potentially encounter a precarious situation by pursuing an appeal to transfer a case from her jurisdiction to a federal court, which could be perceived as a “trap.”
The cautionary statement arises subsequent to the initial unsuccessful endeavor by Mark Meadows, the former White House Chief of Staff, to transfer his charges from Willis’ jurisdiction to a federal court.
Consequently, Meadows has lodged an appeal with the 11th Circuit Court, which has requested a concise written submission from Willis expressing her viewpoint on the potential eligibility of federal officials, in a general sense, for the specific form of immunity requested by Meadows, who previously served as a Republican congressman from the state of North Carolina.
According to Anthony Michael Kreis, a professor of law at Georgia State University, in the event that Willis emerges victorious in the review process, such an outcome would be of limited duration and devoid of significance.
Kreis expressed the opinion on the X platform that “I think this is a trap that Fani Willis should not walk into.
The consensus has generally been (and I think correct) that the current status of the defendant does not matter but what does matter is whether the acts that undergird the legal action are related to official duties.”
“Willis should shut this down despite it maybe giving Meadows a defeat,” continued Kreis.
“First, it is a nasty kind of textualism that conservatives like and liberals should reject. Second, it introduces more unnecessary confusion and opens the door to a greater likelihood of Supreme Court review. Third, it makes little theoretical sense. If the idea of removal is to provide a neutral venue to persons employed by the gov’t or empowered by federal law from vindictive actions in state court, then the D’s current status is irrelevant. It’s about protecting federal integrity.”
Kreis finished by stating that “Willis should politely decline the invitation to derail litigation and upend the removal statute.”
Bradley Moss, a different attorney and legal commentator, expressed agreement by stating, “I concur.”
According to rumors, there is a likelihood that former President Donald Trump will attempt to transfer his case to federal court. Some legal specialists argue that he has a favorable chance of achieving this objective.
Former President Donald Trump, along with 18 co-defendants, faces charges of colluding to overturn the election results in Georgia. It is anticipated that Trump’s legal team will seek a transfer of his case from state court to federal court. Subsequently, his attorneys will likely fight for the dismissal of charges, arguing that Trump is immune from prosecution due to his position as president at the time of the alleged actions.
Elie Honig, a legal analyst at CNN, cautioned that a significant flaw in the indictment lies in the potential for Trump and his associates to seek a change of venue for the trial. This maneuver would result in the case being transferred from its current jurisdiction in a predominantly liberal county in Georgia. However, it is worth noting that a recent attempt by Mark Meadows, former White House Chief of Staff under Trump, to effect such a change was ultimately ineffective.
“The other big issue – and we just said this word – is removal. Get ready for a lot of talk about removal. Mark Meadows is already trying to do this. Donald Trump will try to follow. In a nutshell, what this means is, if a federal official gets charged with a state crime that relates to that federal official’s official job duties, you can get the case removed.”
According to Honig, it is crucial to ensure that these duties fall “within the legitimate scope of those jobs,” thus emphasizing it’s “an important qualification. He [Trump and others] can get the case moved over to federal court and then potentially dismissed. So, these are really important motions. Mark Meadows has already done this, Trump is sure to follow.”
“The hard part [is] it’s a lot of work. You’re not going to be able to try all 19 at once. That’s not going to happen. And you just never know how every one of these defendants, let’s put aside Trump. Every one of these defendants, even the people we heard of, is going to mount a furious defense, as is their right to do,” Honig explained.
“They all work together as one cohesive entity towards an illegal end,” Honig added. “You have the advantage to pick off some low-hanging fruit and get them to flip.”
On Tuesday a New York judge determined that Trump overvalued his properties, a move which could see Trump unable to do business in the state.
The former president lashed out at the finding:
“Today’s Ruling about a Company that has done a magnificent job for New York State fails to acknowledge the fact that Murder and all other forms of Violent Crime have reached record levels in New York State. Can you imagine ruling against me for having done business perfectly, and yet letting people go on a rampage on the sidewalks of New York? This is the Judicial conduct that is forcing thousands of companies to flee New York for other environs, while virtually nobody comes back to the City or State. A very sad Day for the New York State System of Justice!”
Eric Trump also posted:
“Today, I lost all faith in the New York legal system. Never before have I seen such hatred toward one person by a judge – a coordinated effort with the Attorney General to destroy a man’s life, company and their worth. We have run an exceptional company – never missing a loan payment, making banks hundreds of millions of dollars, developing some of the most iconic assets in the world. Yet today, the persecution of our family continues…”
The younger Trump added:
“In an attempt to destroy my father, a Judge in New York just ruled that Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach Florida (seen below) is worth approximate “$18 Million dollars” (Mar-a-Lago is speculated to be worth over a billion making it arguably the most valuable residential property in the country). It is all so coordinated and corrupt.”
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