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Trump says he may try to move his Georgia criminal case to federal court

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday told the state judge presiding over his criminal racketeering case in Georgia that he could try to move the prosecution to federal court.

“President Trump hereby informs the Court that he may request that his prosecution be removed from federal court,” Trump attorney Steven Sadow wrote in a court filing. Sadow noted that such a filing must be made “within 30 days” of Trump’s arraignment.

Trump pleaded not guilty to the 13 charges alleging he attempted to overturn Georgia’s election results and waive arraignment in an Aug. 31 trial. That gives Trump — who has said he believes all criminal cases should be postponed until after the 2024 presidential election — until the end of September to make a decision on how to proceed.

Others in the 19-defendant case have already sought to have the case moved to federal court, where they could claim federal defenses against the charges and appeal to a larger group of jurors.

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The case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis will be heard in Fulton County Superior Court, and the jury will be drawn from the heavily Democratic county.

Willis’ office declined to comment on the filing.

Among those who have asked for the case to be moved are former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official. They claim they acted in their capacity as federal officials at the time of the alleged conspiracy to keep Trump in office and that they have the right to have their proceedings heard in federal court.

If the case goes to federal court, Trump would also have an opportunity to argue that the charges should be dismissed because his actions, as outlined in the indictment, fell within his duties as president.

Willis’ office countered in a file in Meadows’ case that pressuring state employees to overturn election results is not an official act. “Federal law prohibits executive branch employees from engaging in political activity on the job,” they noted.

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Willis’ office also referenced Trump in the filing, noting that a federal court judge in another jurisdiction had already determined that his attempts to stay in power were purely political and not part of his duties as commander in chief.

“All of the defendant’s actions here, as Mr. Trump’s actions discussed” in the federal case, “are not related to [the president’s] duties of faithfully executing the laws, conducting foreign affairs, commanding the armed forces, or directing the executive branch. They relate entirely to his attempts to remain in office for a second term,” the prosecutor said.

At a hearing on his request last week, Meadows testified that almost everything a president does has political ramifications.

U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones is expected to rule on Meadows’ request in the near future.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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