Former Trump White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has recently petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, seeking the removal of his case from the Fulton County Superior Court. He and his legal team assert that federal law protects him from state prosecution for actions undertaken as a federal officer.
In his court documentation, Meadows’ lawyers made it clear he intends to seek the dismissal of all charges against him. As stated by his legal team, “Mr. Meadows is entitled to remove this action to federal court because the charges against him plausibly give rise to a federal defense based on his role at all relevant times as the White House Chief of Staff to the President of the United States.”
Meadows, together with former President Donald Trump and other allies, faces charges from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. Specifically, Meadows is indicted with two counts out of a 41-count indictment.
The charges revolve around a violation of the Georgia RICO Act—tthe Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations Act. Trump and the 18 defendants, including Meadows, face several charges such as Solicitation of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer, Conspiracy to Commit Impersonating a Public Officer, and others.
One of the main controversies linking Meadows to the case is the 2020 phone call he organized between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During this call, Trump urged the elections chief to “find” alleged missing ballots that would supposedly swing the Georgia vote in his favor over Biden.
Meadows’ defense argues that his actions, which include arranging meetings and contacting state officials on behalf of the President, fall within the scope of his official duties. “Nothing Mr. Meadows is alleged in the indictment to have done is criminal per se,” they argued, emphasizing that such duties are standard for a Chief of Staff. The defense further referenced the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which denotes federal law’s precedence over state law, arguing that state interference in federal duties is prohibited.
Prosecutors from Fulton County argue differently. They allege that Meadows played an instrumental role in assisting Trump in pressuring state legislators and Georgia election officials to overturn the 2020 election results. They claim Meadows facilitated this by organizing meetings, making phone calls for Trump, and personally visiting Cobb County, Georgia in December 2020 to oversee the signature match audit post-election.
Meadows plans to file a motion to dismiss the indictment as per Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.