A judge rejected on Friday former White House Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows’ request to move his case from Fulton County, Georgia, to federal court, according to court documents.
The judge wrote that Meadows did not sufficiently prove that his actions related to the 2020 presidential election in Georgia were related to his job as former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.
“As part of his direct and cross examination testimony, Meadows addressed how the overt acts related to his specific federal role as the White Chief of Staff. Ultimately, Meadows concluded that, based on the topics and circumstances discussed in his testimony, he had not done anything outside the scope of his role as the White House Chief of Staff … However, he did admit that there could be activities the President requested which would be outside of the scope of the role,” the documents state.
“Even under the ‘quite low’ bar for federal officer removal, the Court concludes that Meadows has not met his burden to show that his criminal prosecution can be removed under the federal officer removal statute,” the document continues.
Federal court can offer immunity to certain federal officials which face lawsuits over actions related to their position, CNN reported. Meadows argued that the case should be moved to federal court because all of his actions connected to the 2020 election were related to his job as White House chief of staff.
“The evidence adduced at the hearing establishes that the actions at the heart of the State’s charges against Meadows were taken on behalf of the Trump campaign with an ultimate goal of affecting state election activities and procedures. Meadows himself testified that working for the Trump campaign would be outside the scope of a White House Chief of Staff,” the judge added.
Meadows was widely considered to be the defendant with the best chance of having his case moved to federal court, CNBC reported. Trump, who is considered to be another favorable candidate to have his case relocated, has likely seen his chances reduced, CNN noted.
Meadows is likely to appeal the decision, but it is not clear how long that appeal will take, Politico reported.
Meadows was indicted in August by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis over alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Meadows pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and waived his arraignment. On Aug. 28, Meadows said he had “zero recollection” of the indictment’s claim that he requested an aide to assist in obstructing the election.