Mark Meadows Claims Federal Law Protects Him from Prosecution
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has made a significant move in the ongoing legal battle surrounding the 2020 election in Georgia. Meadows has petitioned the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to transfer his case from Fulton County Superior Court to federal court. His attorneys argue that as a federal officer, Meadows is shielded from state prosecution under federal law. They also indicate his intention to seek dismissal of all charges brought against him.
Meadows is facing two counts in a 41-count indictment brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat. The indictment includes former President Trump and 18 others, charging them with various offenses related to the alleged interference in the Georgia 2020 election. The charges against Meadows specifically revolve around his role in soliciting an official to violate their oath of office.
Meadows’ lawyers argue that his actions during the relevant times were performed as the White House Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. They claim that these actions give rise to a federal defense and justify the transfer of the case to federal court. In their court filing, they state, “Mr. Meadows is entitled to remove this action to federal court because the charges against him plausibly give rise to a federal defense based on his role at all relevant times as the White House Chief of Staff.”
Meadows’ attorneys vehemently deny any wrongdoing on his part and assert that the charged conduct falls within his protected actions taken in his official capacity as Chief of Staff. They argue that 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 are all typical responsibilities of a Chief of Staff. They contend that these actions do not constitute criminal behavior and are protected under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“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. One would expect a Chief of Staff to the President of the United States to do these sorts of things,” his attorneys argued.
The Supremacy Clause establishes that federal law takes precedence over state laws and prevents states from interfering with the exercise of constitutional powers by the federal government. Meadows argues that he is immune from prosecution under this clause, as his actions were undertaken in his official capacity as Chief of Staff.
Fulton County prosecutors allege that Meadows assisted former President Trump in pressuring state legislators and Georgia election officials to overturn the election results. They claim that Meadows arranged meetings and phone calls for the President and even visited Cobb County, Georgia, in December 2020 to observe the signature match audit conducted after the election.
Meadows’ legal team intends to file a motion to dismiss the indictment pursuant to Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. They aim to challenge the charges against him and seek a complete dismissal of the case. The motion will focus on the argument that Meadows’ actions were protected and performed in his official capacity as Chief of Staff.
Last year, Meadows was called to testify in the Fulton County grand jury probe investigating Trump’s conduct after the 2020 election in Georgia. Since leaving the White House in 2020, Meadows has largely stayed out of the public eye.