- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows wants the conspiracy charges filed against him in Fulton County, Georgia, to be moved to a federal court where he could argue he is immune from prosecution under the Constitution.

The Constitution protects federal officials from prosecution for acts performed in their official capacity and the charges in Georgia target his actions as chief of staff.

It is likely the start of a trend. Former President Donald Trump and former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark are expected to make a similar bid to move the case to federal court.

Mr. Meadows’ attorneys filed a “notice of removal” with the federal court in northern Georgia citing a law that says cases can be moved to federal court if the prosecution relates to “any act under color of [his] office.”

“The events giving rise to the indictment occurred during Mr. Meadows’s tenure as White House Chief of Staff and are directly related to that role,” the attorneys wrote.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis named Mr. Meadows alongside Mr. Trump and 17 other defendants in a sweeping indictment that accuses the ex-president and his associates of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

Mr. Meadows is cited in a racketeering charge under the state’s racketeering law and charged with a count of soliciting a violation of oath by a public officer — an accusation related to Mr. Trump’s phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Mr. Trump urged the official to “find” the votes necessary for him to win.

In his filing, Mr. Meadows maintains his right to innocence and argues the allegations are more relevant to federal law than state law.

“Nothing Mr. Meadows is alleged in the indictment to have done is criminal per se: arranging Oval Office meetings, contacting state officials on the President’s behalf, visiting a state government building, and setting up a phone call for the. President. One would expect a Chief of Staff to the President of the United States to do these sorts of things,” the filing says. “Here, justice requires the prompt dismissal of the charges against Mr. Meadows. At a minimum, in the meantime, federal law requires granting removal, which will halt the state-court proceedings against Mr. Meadows … while the motion to dismiss is resolved.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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