Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday urged a federal appeals court to intervene is his failed bid to move his Georgia criminal case to federal court.
In a filing to the 11th US Circuit of Appeals, Meadows asked the court to grant him emergency relief in the case after a lower court on Friday rejected his effort to move his state prosecution from a state court in Fulton County to the federal court.
Meadows is asking the appeals court to stay, or pause, that decision and take up the case on an expedited basis. His attorneys also said that the court could instead order Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to stop prosecuting him in the case while the appeal plays out.
“At a minimum, the Court should stay the Remand Order to protect Meadows from a conviction pending appeal,” the attorneys wrote in the filing. “Absent a stay, the State will continue seeking to try Meadows in 42 days starting October 23, 2023. If the State gets its way, Meadows could be forced to stand trial, be convicted, and be incarcerated, all before the standard timeline for a federal appeal would play out.”
The attorneys laid out a suggested briefing and oral arguments schedule in their filing, telling the appeals court they should hear arguments in exactly two weeks.
“But given the urgency of the matter and his clear entitlement to reversal under the low threshold for removal, he is willing to forgo oral argument to facilitate a prompt ruling,” they wrote.
As for pausing Willis’ prosecution, they wrote in part, “While federal courts will not enjoin pending state proceedings lightly, a temporary pause for Meadows would protect the important federal interests at stake.”
US District Judge Steve Jones said in last week’s ruling that the allegations against Meadows contained in Willis’ indictment on election subversion charges were largely “related to political activities” and not to Meadows’ role as White House chief of staff.
Meadows had unsuccessfully argued that his case, now playing out in Georgia state court, should be moved because the allegations in the indictment were connected to his official duties as White House chief of staff. His lawyers wanted the case in federal court so they could try to get it dismissed altogether, invoking federal immunity extended to certain individuals who are prosecuted or sued for conduct tied to their US government roles.
Earlier Monday, Jones ordered Fulton County prosecutors to file a brief by noon on Tuesday on Meadows’ request.
Meadows had indicated he wanted the judge to move more quickly, saying in a court filing he’d seek the federal appeals court’s emergency intervention if Jones didn’t pause his ruling by Monday afternoon.