FEATURED PHOTO: FULTON COUNTY PROSECUTOR FANI WILLIS
USAToday.com, By Bart Jansen, Posted September 14th 2023
Meadows is one of five co-defendants of Donald Trump seeking to move his case to federal court. Meadows is appealing U.S. District Judge Steve Jones’ rejection of his request.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis argued Tuesday against delaying the Georgia prosecution of Mark Meadows until an appeals court decides whether to move his case to federal court because he’s a former White House chief of staff.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones rejected Meadows’ request Friday to move his case to federal court. Meadows now seeks a freeze on his part of the state case, to avoid reaching a verdict before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether to move his case.
But Willis argued that Jones had been careful in his 49-page ruling and that Meadows hadn’t articulated his federal job duties “at all.”
“The defendant has not made a ‘strong showing’ that he is likely to succeed on the merits,” Willis wrote. “Far from making a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits in his appeal, the defendant has not actually made any showing.”
Willis also said Meadows couldn’t show he would suffer irreparable harm from the state case proceeding because a verdict could take months to reach and he’s asked for an expedited review by the appeals court. She argued it wouldn’t be in the public interest to delay his state trial.
The eventual decision about where to hold trials is fundamental to 19 co-defendants in the case, including Donald Trump. At least five of the 19 co-defendants in the case have asked to move their trials from Fulton County Superior Court to federal court. Trump has filed that he may make a similar request.
Meadows and the others have argued they should be protected from state-level charges because they served in federal jobs during the events cited in the indictment. Jeffrey Clark was an assistant attorney general, and three others were Republican presidential electors who met to support Trump despite President Joe Biden winning the state: Georgia Republican Chairman David Shafer, state Sen. Shawn Still and Cathy Latham.
Meadows is charged with racketeering and with soliciting Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to violate his oath of office during a call Jan. 2, 2021, when Trump asked him to “find” enough votes to win the state. Meadows has pleaded not guilty.