Federal judge rejects former Trump chief of staff’s request to remove Georgia criminal case to federal court News
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Federal judge rejects former Trump chief of staff’s request to remove Georgia criminal case to federal court

A US federal district court on Friday denied former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ request to remove two Georgia state criminal charges to federal court.

Meadows asked to transfer his charges to federal court under 28 U.S.C. § 1442(a)(1). The statute allows a US federal officer acting under duties of their office to remove state civil or criminal actions to federal court. He argued the alleged criminal actions took place while he served as a federal officer.

Judge Steve C. Jones rejected Meadows’ arguments. He noted that Meadows failed to accurately convey what his position as White House Chief of Staff did and did not allow him to do. Jones stated that Meadows was “unable to explain the limits of his authority, other than his inability to stump for the President or work on behalf of the campaign.” Due to the failure to provide specific duties which allowed him to participate in election activities, Jones concluded that Meadows “cannot have acted in his role as a federal officer with respect to any efforts to influence, interfere with, disrupt, oversee, or change state elections.”

In August, Meadows was indicted by a grand jury on two Georgia state criminal charges. The first charge was a violation of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The RICO charge covers Meadows’ attempted observation of a closed-door vote audit and fielding communications with elected officials so that Trump could claim the vote was stolen. Beyond Georgia, the RICO charge encompasses meetings with elected officials in Michigan and Pennsylvania to overturn the vote as well as planning to disrupt the congressional certification of the vote on January 6, 2020. The second charge was solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. The charge stems from a phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump asked Raffensperger to find him enough votes to overcome current President Joe Biden’s vote lead in the state.

Meadows may appeal the order and this is the first in a string of similar requests, including a possible request from Trump to remove thirteen Georgia state criminal charges.