Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows has asked a federal court to dismiss all charges against him filed last week by Fulton County, Georgia, prosecutors, saying the charges are related to his then-current role in the federal government.
In a weekend filing, Meadows argues he should have immunity from the 2020 state interference criminal case because he fulfilled his duties as a federal official working for then-President Donald Trump. The filing states that his actions only arose because he served Trump as a close adviser to the White House.
It and previous documents show how aggressively Meadows appears to be fighting for his own protection, highlighting his separation from Trump. CNN previously reported that Meadows’ lawyers broke coordination with Trump’s lawyers months ago, and sources say they are maintaining the split.
Meadows’ lawyers point out in Saturday’s indictment that he is not charged with violating any federal law in the federal special counsel’s indictment against Trump — nor is he referred to as a co-conspirator.
In the Trump White House, “Mr. Meadows served in an extremely important advisory and assisting role that has been firmly enshrined in federal law for nearly 100 years,” his attorneys wrote to a judge on the Georgia charges on Saturday. “The conduct accused here falls entirely within the scope of Mr. Meadows’ duties as Chief of Staff and the federal policies underlying that role.”
Prosecutors in Georgia accuse Meadows of interacting with officials in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia, as well as others in the White House, on Trump’s behalf to discuss the election and Electoral College certification of the presidency. That included arranging post-election phone calls between Trump and Georgia officials. Meadows has not yet appeared in court to enter a plea.
Stripped of the state’s luster, the underlying facts entail duties involving the core functions of a Chief of Staff to the President of the United States: organizing or attending Oval Office meetings, contacting state officials on behalf of the President , visiting a state government building, and setting up a phone call for the president with a state official,” his lawyers said in the filing. “By virtue of his role as Chief of Staff alone, Mr. Meadows was implicated in the conduct charged. In other words, his federal position was the cause of his alleged involvement.”
In a filing earlier last week, Meadows requested a hearing to move his case from state to federal court without delay, even if “another defendant” later tries to do the same. On Wednesday, a federal judge scheduled an August 28 hearing for Meadows and others to present evidence on whether or not to move the case.
Trump is widely expected to attempt the same maneuver in court. And his team has tried to delay proceedings in his multiple criminal cases in an effort to postpone future trials.
However, Meadows wants his proceedings to proceed as quickly as possible, according to his court filings.
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