Mark Meadows asks for his Georgia election charges to be dismissed

August 21, 2023

Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows filed on Saturday to have a judge dismiss criminal charges against him in Georgia.

Meadows is one of 19 co-defendants, along with former President Trump, who were indicted by a grand jury on racketeering charges related to attempts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has given each of the co-defendants until Friday to “voluntarily surrender” or face an arrest warrant.

According to a filing by Meadows attorneys Saturday, the former Chief of Staff asserts he is immune to state prosecution because the allegations are related to his role as a federal official.

Last week, Meadows undertook an effort to move his case to federal court. The Saturday filing takes his attempts one step further, requesting that charges against him be dismissed altogether. 

“As a federal official at the time of the charged conduct, he is immune from state prosecution under the Supremacy Clause of the Federal Constitution,” Meadows’ attorneys wrote in their filing.

The Supremacy Clause is Article VI, Clause 2 of the Constitution. Essentially, it says that the federal laws of the United States “shall be the supreme Law of the Land,” and judges in every state shall be bound by them—”Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Meadows argues he has immunity from state law because the allegations against him, which include organizing calls between Georgia election officials and Trump as well as meeting with Michigan lawmakers about unfounded claims of fraud, were part of his Chief of Staff duties. Further, he asserts that he complied with federal law.

Though Meadows is the first of the Georgia co-defendants to attempt to get his charges dismissed, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark—who’s also identified as one of six unindicted co-conspirators in the Department of Justice’s federal indictment against Trump related to the 2020 election—has signaled that he may also raise an immunity defense under the Supremacy Clause. 

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