The potential outcome of a federal judge’s decision on the request made by former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to transfer his case outside of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ jurisdiction is expected to significantly influence a parallel request put forth by the legal team representing his erstwhile superior, Donald Trump.
Meadows, along with Trump and 17 others, have been charged by Willis with racketeering and other offenses. In an attempt to change the jurisdiction of his case, Meadows submitted a petition to U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, arguing that the alleged actions took place during his tenure as a federal government employee.
In the event that the matter is effectively transferred, Meadows is expected to petition the federal court for the dismissal of the lawsuit, citing the immunity bestowed upon him by former President Trump before his departure from office.
According to Trending Politics, “The decision by Jones would have massive implications for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has staked her career and political future on prosecuting Trump and his allies for allegedly attempting to overturn the results of Georgia’s 2020 election.”
According to The Hill, should Meadows achieve his objective, it would significantly facilitate Trump’s ability to transfer his case to a federal court.
“If Jones does permit Meadows to remove, it won’t be on the strength of Meadows’s legal argumentation. It will be because of the atmospherics of the case,” According to Lee Kovarsky, a professor of law at the University of Texas.
Kovarsky also told the outlet, “And because it will be because of the atmospherics of the case, it seems likely that he would also permit Trump to remove, notwithstanding the specifics of the legal argument.”
According to the article published by The Hill:
Meadows and his 18 co-defendants are charged with racketeering, which enabled prosecutors to weave together an alleged months-long conspiracy to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election result to help keep Trump in power.
Prosecutors outlined 161 acts they say are part of the conspiracy, and Meadows is mentioned in eight. The list includes meetings with state legislators, Meadows’s attempt to observe a signature match audit during a Georgia trip and calls he set up between state election officials and Trump.
Meadows has disputed the substance of some of the allegations.
In relation to a specific instance of communication, in which it has been revealed that Trump requested Georgia’s highest-ranking election official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, to “find 11,780 votes,” the ex-chief of staff has additionally been accused of encouraging a public servant to breach their sworn duty, as stated by The Hill.
As Jones, an appointee of Barack Obama deliberates on the matter, he has expressed a preliminary inclination that certain allegations against Meadows may meet the criteria for transfer to a federal court. Consequently, Meadows’ legal counsel and Fulton County prosecutors are engaged in a dispute regarding the sufficiency of these allegations to warrant a change in jurisdictions.
According to the court files submitted by Mr. Meadow’s counsel last week, “[B]ased on the Notice of Removal and the record before the Court, each one of these charged acts has a sufficient connection to Mr. Meadow’s official duties to support removal.”
“But based on the black-letter law outlined above, the Court need not reach that conclusion to permit removal. If the Court finds that any charged conduct relates to Mr. Meadow’s official duties, that is the end of the inquiry; removal must be permitted,” Meadow’s attorneys added.
The legal debate revolves around three crucial elements: Firstly, Meadows must establish his occupation as a federal officer. Secondly, he must demonstrate that the allegations are related to actions performed “under color of such office.” Lastly, he needs to possess a viable federal defense that is considered credible.
There is consensus among both parties regarding the initial point, although significant divergence exists concerning the subsequent two facets.
“Count 1 of the Indictment (pertaining to Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4(c)) contains a number of overt acts attributed to Mr. Meadows. Would a finding that at least one (but not all) of the overt acts charged occurred under the color of Meadows’s office, be sufficient for federal removal of a criminal prosecution[?]” Jones inquired in the order, as reported by The Hill.
On Wednesday, Trump ripped prosecutor Jack Smith on Truth Social, writing:
“The highly partisan January 6th Committee of political Hacks and Thugs has been found to have DELETED & DESTROYED all evidence and findings of the recently ended Committee of TRUMP persecution and hatred. This is a highly illegal act to, among other things, protect Crazy Nancy Pelosi for her grossly incompetent, or intentional, actions regarding her weak and inadequate response to security measures taken at the Capitol, for which she was responsible. This evidence is now criminally destroyed!”
“Is Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor who is continuously overturned due to his unchecked and insane aggression, investigating the political Hacks & Thugs of the highly partisan January 6th Unselect Committee for tampering with, deleting, and destroying highly Confidential & Classified documents, pictures, tapes, evidence, and all forms of other important information? If not, WHY? I fully believe it is because the evidence in question destroys his Fake, Election Interfering, case. DISMISS SUIT!”