Judge rejects Mark Meadows’ stay request

September 13, 2023

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones in Atlanta on Wednesday rejected former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ emergency request to stay his order in the Georgia 2020 election racketeering case.

Meadows filed the emergency request after Jones ruled Friday that Meadows cannot move his trial to federal court, after which Meadows filed a notice of appeal.

On Wednesday afternoon, the 11th Circuit did grant Meadows’ request to expedite his appeal and sets a briefing schedule to be completed within the next 15 days.

In a 10-page ruling, Jones rejected staying his ruling while Meadows’ battle to move the charges against him out of state court continues, writing, “There is nothing in the summary of arguments he plans to raise in his challenge to the denial of removal to convince this Court that its decision was incorrect.  Thus, Meadows has shown no likelihood or prevailing on the merits of his appeal.”

Meadows is among 19 co-defendants, including former President Trump, who were indicted by a grand jury last month related to attempts to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election, following a more than two-year investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

All 19 co-defendants face racketeering charges. Meadows also faces an additional charge of solicitation of violating an oath by a public officer. Meadows took part in the January 2, 2021 phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during which then-President Trump pressured his fellow Republican to “find 11,780 votes”—exactly one more than he needed overturn his election loss in Georgia.

Meadows’ attorneys requested last month to move his case from Fulton County to federal court, arguing that all of his actions from which the charges derived “occurred during his tenure and as part of his service as Chief of Staff.”

In his ruling on Friday, Jones disagreed, writing that Meadows “has not shown how his actions relate to the scope of his federal executive branch office.”

As of Wednesday, prosecutors may proceed in state court to bring Meadows to trial and attempt to convict him, though Meadows still has pending motions with two other courts seeking a similar pause.

His trial date has not been set. However, last week Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee ruled that two Trump co-defendants who requested speedy trials—Kenneth Chesebro and Sydney Powell—would be tried together on October 23, and he planned to hear arguments as soon as this week over whether the other 17 co-defendants, including Trump and Meadows, should be tried at that same time or at a later date.

PHOTO: Mark Meadows, Oct 2020

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