Former Rep. Mark Meadows, RN.C., speaks during a forum on House and GOP Conference Rules for the 118th Congress at the FreedomWorks offices in Washington, DC on Monday, November 14, 2022.
Tom Williams | Cq-roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, one of the co-defendants charged with racketeering as part of the 2020 Georgia election investigationfiled court documents Tuesday to bring the new case in Fulton County in federal court.
In a 14-page filing, Meadows argued that the charges in the indictment refer to actions he took during his tenure in the Trump administration.
“Mr. Meadows has the right to remove this matter. The conduct giving rise to the allegations in the indictment all occurred during his tenure and while serving as chief of staff,” Meadows' attorneys wrote.
They called for an “immediate removal” under federal law This allows US officials to refer civil actions or criminal prosecutions in state courts to the US District Court for alleged actions taken “under cover” of their offices. Meadows also intends to file a motion to dismiss the charges “as soon as it is practicable,” his attorneys wrote.
abc news first reported Meadows' file.
Moving the case to federal court could result in a more favorable jury pool for the defendants and would almost certainly mean no cameras would be allowed in the courtroom.
Former President Donald Trump, Meadows and 17 other defendants were charged Monday for criminal offenses related to efforts to overturn the results of Georgia's 2020 presidential election. The investigation was initiated by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
The DA's office declined to comment on Meadows' file. A Meadows attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meadows faces two counts in the lengthy, 41-count indictment, including violating the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and soliciting an officer's breach of oath.
According to the indictment, on January 2, 2021, Meadows, Trump and other unindicted co-conspirators “unlawfully recruited, solicited and harassed” Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
The indictment quotes Trumps Call He urged Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to win the state victory over Democrat Joe Biden.
In the filing filed Tuesday, Meadows' attorneys detailed arrangements for arranging meetings in the Oval Office, contacting state officials on Trump's behalf, visiting a state government building, and arranging a phone call, all of which are among Meadows' duties as Chief of Staff belonged.
“Nothing alleged against Mr. Meadows in the indictment is criminal per se,” they wrote. “You would expect a chief of staff to the President of the United States to do such things.”
The 98-page indictment details a number of alleged plots to overturn the election results, including pressuring state officials to change the results, accessing voting machines and data in rural Coffee County, and harassing poll worker Ruby Freeman to falsely commit election crimes admits not commit.
Trump shares the charges Meadows faces and 11 other counts of filing false documents and making false statements and writings, as well as multiple conspiracy allegations. Other top allies, including former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, have also been indicted.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing. Giuliani also denied wrongdoing shortly before the indictment was released.
At a press conference Monday night announcing the charges, Willis said the defendants had until noon on August 25 to voluntarily surrender.
Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman who now lives in South Carolina, has fought to get him to testify about his actions in the final weeks of Trump's presidency.
He previously tried to avoid testifying before the grand jury in Willis' inquest, but succeeded forced to testify after losing court challenges.
Meadows also declined a Jan. 6 subpoena from the House Committee to testify and was referred to the Justice Department on a delinquent charge defiance of Congress charging. The Ministry of Justice declined prosecution him.