A federal judge shot down a Wednesday attempt by Mark Meadows, who served as former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, to delay his pending Fulton County, Georgia, arrest and move his trial into federal court, USA Today reported.
Meadows is one of the 19 individuals indicted pursuant to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ racketeering case against Trump and his inner circle for his alleged attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Meadows and fellow Trump administration official Jeffrey Clark asked U.S. District Judge Steve Jones to intervene and prevent Willis from arresting them after the established deadline, Friday at noon, passes, but Jones rejected the requests, according to USA Today.
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Both men argued that their cases ought to be adjudicated in a federal court because they were operating as officials of the executive branch, thereby removing them from state jurisdiction in Willis’ large racketeering case against them and the other defendants. Jones agreed with Willis’ assertion that neither defendant’s request had merit, according to USA Today.
Meadows and Clark will have to turn themselves in to the authorities ahead of the Friday deadline, or else Willis will be at liberty to issue warrants for their arrest, according to USA Today. Willis asserted that the requests lacked merit given that their former superior, Trump, has already agreed to turn himself in, as have other defendants named in the racketeering indictment.
Willis and her office allege that Trump and the indicted circle of advisers violated state racketeering laws when they engaged in efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election in the state, which Joe Biden appears to have won by a narrow margin. Other high-profile defendants in the Fulton county case include attorney Sydney Powell and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who surrendered to Georgia authorities Wednesday afternoon.
Meadows served as Trump’s White House chief of staff in 2020 and 2021. Prior to holding that position, Meadows represented North Carolina in the House of Representatives, in which capacity he helped establish the House Freedom Caucus.
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Willis’ case stands as the fourth ongoing legal action against Trump, with others including cases pertaining to his alleged mishandling of classified documents, his actions before and during the events that transpired at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and alleged misuse of funds to pay Stormy Daniels, his alleged former mistress and a prominent adult entertainer.
Willis has stated that she would like to have the trial for the racketeering case begin on March 4, 2024, which would be the day before Super Tuesday, a key slate of primary elections in the race for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential race.
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