A sign that similar attempts by the Republican former president and his co-defendants to move the criminal case to a more favorable venue will fail is that charges against Mark Meadows, the former chief of staff of Donald Trump’s White House, involving attempts to change the results of the 2020 U.S. election will not be brought in federal court.
The decision by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones on Friday rejecting Meadows’ request to transfer his case from Georgia state court to federal court gave an early victory to Fulton County prosecutors, who in August charged Trump and 18 other people with conspiring to rig the election in order to give Democratic President Joe Biden the presidency instead of Trump..
Trump’s attorney indicated in a court filing on Thursday that he would also try to have the case transferred from state to federal court. Later on Friday, Meadows submitted a notice of appeal. An inquiry for comment was not immediately answered by Meadows’s attorney. Trump has denied wrongdoing and entered a not guilty plea.
He is the front-runner for the Republican nomination to compete against Biden in the 2024 election. Meadows has also entered a not guilty plea.
Meadows is accused of setting up phone calls and meetings during which, according to the prosecution, Trump allegedly exerted undue influence over election officials to skew the results in his favor.
One such call involved the then-president allegedly pleading with the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” him enough votes to win the state, which Biden ultimately won.
Federal Court for a Fairer Trial?
According to the prosecution, those actions were not “necessary and proper” for the president of the United States and his chief of staff to be doing.
As Trump’s top White House assistant, Meadows has stated that they were a part of his responsibilities. If the charges against them are related to their official duties, the law permits defendants to have their cases heard in federal court.
In federal court, which draws from a bigger and more politically varied area than Fulton County, Georgia, the Democratic stronghold where the case was brought, Meadows would have encountered a more sympathetic jury pool.
Meadows may have argued that by transferring the case to federal court, he is exempt from state punishment since he was acting in the course of his employment as a federal employee. In August, Meadows, Trump, and 17 other people were indicted in a lengthy indictment.
According to Trump, the criminal case and the other three he is dealing with are all a part of a political scheme to keep him from retaking the White House in the upcoming election.
In four cases, Trump is accused of crimes. Also, he is facing charges in New York over hush money given to a porn star before the 2016 election, Florida for handling secret papers after leaving office, and Washington for trying to rig the 2020 election.
In other cases as well, Trump has denied wrongdoing and entered a not guilty plea.