Mark Meadows tried to move an election interference case from Georgia to federal court on Monday but was denied. The court said that Meadows, who used to be Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, had not shown that his alleged criminal behavior was related to his job as president’s staff.
The three judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals all agreed to support a decision from a lower court in September. In a harsh 47-page ruling written by a conservative judge appointed by Bush, the panel said that the federal removal statute that Meadows’ lawyers were trying to use “does not apply to former federal officers.”
Even if it did, Chief Judge William Pryor said, Meadows’ “participation in an alleged conspiracy to overturn a presidential election was not related to his official duties.”
At its core, Pryor wrote, “Whatever the chief of staff’s job is in terms of running state elections, that job does not include changing valid election results to favor a certain candidate.”
It was only three days ago that the panel heard formal arguments in the transfer request. Meadows will not be able to get his case thrown out of Georgia state court anymore unless he goes to the Supreme Court and gets them to take the case.
A request for word from Meadows’s lawyer on Monday night did not get a response right away.
In August, Meadows, his former boss, and 17 other people were charged with illegally working together to keep Trump in power after the 2020 election by overturning his loss in Georgia. One count against Meadows is for breaking a state law against espionage, and the other is for soliciting a public officer to break the oath. Meadows has pleaded not guilty.
Trump asked Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” more than 10,000 votes in his favor on a famous phone call in January 2021. The former chief of staff has had a lot of trouble with this. Rivers Meadows has said that being on the call was part of his job as chief of staff. So far, the judges and the prosecutors have not agreed.
Eventually, five people were charged in the broad accusation, and he was the first to try to have his case moved to federal court. Meadows filed a motion the day after the accusation was made, saying that the state could not prosecute him. After less than a month, a judge turned down his request, saying Meadows did not meet the “quite low” standard for removal.