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 February 29, 2024

Mark Meadows denied new hearing in appeal of Georgia election case

A federal appeals panel declined former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’s request for a new hearing on whether to transfer the Georgia election interference case against him from state to federal court.

The three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued a concise two-sentence ruling, marking another setback for Meadows.

The situation

Meadows had sought the transfer under a federal law allowing individuals charged with crimes while performing official duties to be prosecuted in federal court, even if the charges involve state law and prosecutors.

A previous ruling by the same panel in December denied Meadows a trial in federal court. Subsequently, Meadows requested a full hearing before the entire 11th Circuit, which has now been denied.

His only remaining option is to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review.

The case's significance

"We have a lot of options at this point, and we will be carefully considering them all," said Meadows's lawyer George Terwilliger.

Terwilliger criticized the panel's decision, asserting that it jeopardizes the access of former federal officers to federal courts when faced with state lawsuits or prosecutions.

The broader indictment filed in August in Fulton County, Ga., alleges that former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants, including Meadows, engaged in a criminal enterprise to unlawfully reverse Trump’s defeat against Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.

The next steps

Meadows hoped that transferring the case to federal court could lead to its swift dismissal, arguing that as a federal officer, he is immune from prosecution for actions taken in the course of his official duties.

The indictment outlines Meadows’s activities in the aftermath of the election, including meetings with state lawmakers and involvement in efforts to verify absentee ballot signatures.

It also accuses him of illegally soliciting a public official to violate his oath during a phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which Trump sought to "find" enough votes to overturn his narrow loss in Georgia.

The decision not to transfer the case to federal court could have implications for four other defendants seeking similar transfers.

These include former Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark and three state Republican officials who served as contingent presidential electors: David Shafer, Shawn Still, and Cathy Latham.

Written By:
Dillon Burroughs

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