Appeals Court Denies Mark Meadows' Request to Move Election Case to Federal Court

Sophia Moonstone

Updated Tuesday, December 19, 2023 at 12:07 PM CDT

Appeals Court Denies Mark Meadows' Request to Move Election Case to Federal Court

In a significant legal development, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' attempt to transfer his Georgia election interference case to federal jurisdiction. Meadows had sought to leverage a federal law designed for the "prompt removal" of cases, contending that his actions were conducted as part of his official duties while in office.

This unanimous decision by the appeals court, which includes judges appointed by Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden, affirmed a prior ruling from September. The court found that Meadows' alleged activities, notably the solicitation of election interference, did not fall within the scope of his official responsibilities as chief of staff.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, overseeing Meadows' prosecution, has also brought charges against former President Donald Trump and 17 others for actions aiming to influence the 2020 election's outcome. Meadows faces two felony counts: violating the Georgia RICO Act and solicitation of a public officer's violation of oath.

The ruling decreases the likelihood of Meadows succeeding in an appellate court, setting the stage for a potential state court trial. Trump's legal team, including attorneys Steve Sadow and Jennifer Little, is calling for the dismissal of the election interference charges against Trump, asserting that they impinge on his First Amendment rights to free political speech.

The legal team argues that Trump's call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, in which he asked to "find" votes, is shielded by the First Amendment as an act of petitioning or advocacy. However, DA Willis has filed 13 felony counts against Trump for his alleged involvement in a scheme to reverse the election results in Georgia.

In a related development, Judge Tanya Chutkan of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a partial gag order on Trump during the proceedings. Trump's lawyers claim this order conflicts with Supreme Court precedents and have requested it be lifted pending a decision. A three-judge appeals panel previously affirmed most of Chutkan's order, with Trump's team now seeking reconsideration or a full court hearing.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Chesebro, implicated in the fake elector scheme, has been a focal point in a Nevada criminal investigation. His cooperation led to his removal from the Nevada indictment, and six other Republicans have been indicted for submitting a false electoral certificate to the National Archives, with trials set for March.

Nevada's AG Aaron Ford's office led the inquiry but has refrained from commenting on Chesebro's plea agreement. Chesebro pled guilty in Georgia to one felony charge of conspiracy to file false documents, with six other counts dismissed. His testimony revealed his role in providing instructions to the Nevada GOP for signing fraudulent certificates, despite recognizing Nevada as "extremely problematic" for the plot.

This intricate fake elector plot spanned multiple battleground states, with the Nevada grand jury, convened since November 14, indicting six individuals after three sessions. Testimony in the case has incorporated insights from a National Archives employee, a U.S. Postal Service inspector, and investigative officers.

Mark Wlaschin, Nevada's deputy secretary of state for elections, testified before the grand jury, expressing shock at receiving the fraudulent electors slate. He alerted the National Archives to the potential delivery of these "bizarro documents" and communicated his concerns to Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, one of the charged individuals.

As the complex investigation unfolds, various individuals implicated in Trump's campaign to overturn the 2020 election results have submitted diverse pleas, some guilty, others like Meadows, not guilty. The case references a January 2, 2021, phone call where Trump asked Raffensperger to "find" votes, a solicitation Meadows and others are accused of illegally prompting.

Meadows' attorney, George Terwilliger, argued for a "federal immunity defense" during oral arguments, but the appellate court's three-judge panel dismissed it. The court clarified that Meadows' capacity as White House chief of staff, even when acting on Trump's behalf, did not encompass the alleged conspiracy to subvert legitimate election results.

Mark Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman, currently resides in South Carolina and has consistently resisted testifying in various inquiries, including the Fulton County grand jury and the House January 6 committee. However, an appeals court compelled his testimony after he lost legal battles to avoid it.

Conservative Bias:

In yet another example of the left's relentless pursuit to undermine the integrity of the conservative movement, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck a blow against former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. This is nothing short of a political witch hunt, aimed at punishing those who dared to question the suspicious circumstances surrounding the 2020 election. The court's refusal to recognize Meadows' rightful actions as part of his official duties is a travesty of justice, orchestrated by liberal judges and prosecutors who are hell-bent on criminalizing political adversaries. The charges against President Trump and his allies are a direct assault on the First Amendment and a dangerous precedent that could silence any American who dares to engage in political discourse. This is a dark day for America, where leftist prosecutors are allowed to weaponize the legal system against the very foundations of our democracy, all in their quest to vilify and destroy anyone associated with the Trump administration.

Liberal Bias:

In a triumph for the rule of law, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has delivered justice by rejecting Mark Meadows' baseless attempt to evade accountability for his role in the egregious attempt to overturn a free and fair election. The court, in a unanimous decision, has affirmed that Meadows' actions went far beyond the scope of his duties, directly implicating him in a criminal conspiracy to subvert democracy. This ruling is a stark reminder of the lengths to which the Trump administration and its cronies went in their deplorable scheme to cling to power. The charges against Trump and his enablers, including the solicitation of election interference, are a necessary step in holding these individuals to account for their assault on our electoral integrity. It's a testament to the resilience of our institutions that despite the relentless attacks from the right, justice is prevailing. The gag order on Trump is a necessary measure to prevent further disinformation and protect the sanctity of our legal proceedings. We must remain vigilant and ensure that all those who participated in this unprecedented attack on our democracy face the full consequences of their actions.

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