Mark Meadows seeks to move Fulton County election case to federal court

The former chief of staff was indicted with Trump and 17 others on Monday.

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows officially filed Tuesday to move the case brought against him by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis into federal court, just a day after he was indicted along with former President Donald Trump and 17 others on charges of attempting to overturn Trump’s election loss in the state.

The filing from Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger and Atlanta-based attorney Joseph Englert is based on a federal law that they argue requires the removal of criminal proceedings brought in state court to the federal court system when someone is charged for actions they allegedly took as a federal official acting “under color” of their office.

Trump is also expected to mount a similar effort, according to sources familiar with the matter.

“Nothing Mr. Meadows is alleged in the indictment to have done is criminal per se: arranging Oval Office meetings, contacting state officials on the President’s behalf, visiting a state government building, and setting up a phone call for the President,” Terwilliger wrote in the filing. “One would expect a Chief of Staff to the President of the United States to do these sorts of things.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters following a television interview, outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 21, 2020.

Alexander Drago/Reuters

“This is precisely the kind of state interference in a federal official’s duties that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits, and that the removal statute shields against,” Terwilliger wrote.

Terwilliger additionally says in the filing that while Meadows intends to file a motion to dismiss the indictment entirely, removing the case into federal court would “halt the state-court proceedings against Mr. Meadows.”

Meadows could not immediately be reached for comment.

District Judge Steve Jones, an appointee of former President Barack Obama, has been assigned to Meadows’ case, according to his court docket.

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