Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is seeking to move Fulton County, Georgia to federal court so he can try to dismiss the case under federal law.
Meadows argued in a new court filing filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia that he is entitled to federal immunity because of his conduct as a chief of staff to then-President Donald Trump.
Meadows is one of 19 defendants, including Trump, indicted Monday in the Georgia 2020 election tampering case. Meadows’ request does not move District Attorney Fannie Willis’ entire case to federal court. Rather, it would be a defendant-to-defendant effort.
Trump, who faces 13 charges, is expected to try to move the case to federal court, according to multiple sources familiar with the legal team’s thinking.
And former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who faces 13 charges in the Fulton County case, raised one of the laws cited in Meadows’ new plea during his radio show on Tuesday, saying he believes the case against him “deserves almost an automatic dismissal” in federal court.
The law states that criminal proceedings brought in state court may be “removed” to federal court if the prosecution involves conduct conducted “under color” of a U.S. office or agency.
Georgia criminal law experts told CNN on Tuesday that they thought government employees like Trump and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clarke would raise such arguments.
Meadows said he intends to submit a detailed motion “at a later date” explaining why the case against him should be dismissed under federal law. But in the meantime, he argued that the federal court should move the charges out of state court and into federal court, effectively halting state-level proceedings against him.
“Although the court is not prepared to dismiss entirely at this early stage, justice is required to remove and cease any state-court proceedings against Mr. Meadows,” the filing said. “This will allow for timely consideration of Mr. Meadows’ defenses, including his federal defense under the Supremacy Clause, without the need for him to simultaneously defend himself in state court.”
Willis charged Meadows with violating Georgia’s anti-fraud law.
According to the document, Meadows’ removal request has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama.
This story has been updated with additional information.