In an important development for former President Donald Trump’s Georgia election case, a federal judge has scheduled a hearing regarding former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’s appeal to transfer his case from Fulton County to a federal court.
Judge Steve C. Jones announced that the hearing will take place on Aug. 28. Coincidentally, this is the same day that lawyers for former President Donald Trump have a separate court appearance in Washington, D.C.
“The Court concludes the face of the Notice of Removal… and attached Indictment… do not clearly indicate that summary remand of this matter is required. No opinion about whether the removal will be permitted or on a federal immunity defense is being made at this time,” Jones wrote.
Meadows must provide Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis with the notice of removal and Wednesday’s order by Aug. 23.
Judge Jones mentioned, “The provided Notice of Removal and the associated Indictment don’t definitively suggest that an immediate remand is necessary.
“The Court has not formed an opinion on the validity of the removal or a potential federal immunity defense at this moment.”
A remand is when superior courts direct cases back to inferior courts for additional proceedings.
Meadows recently sought to shift his indictment to a federal court. His lawyers contend that since the events in question transpired during his tenure as chief of staff, he’s entitled to have his segment of the indictment moved from the Fulton County Superior Court.
Trump is expected to mount a similar effort, according to ABC News’ reporting. Donald Trump and his allies certainly see an advantage in a change of venue from heavily Democratic Fulton County to the more conservative, northern part of the state bordering on Alabama, as left-wing website Raw Story pointed out.
“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,” Meadows’ attorney George Terwilliger wrote in the filing.
“One would expect a Chief of Staff to the President of the United States to do these sorts of things.”
The 41-count indictment highlights a meeting between Meadows and Georgia’s chief election investigator Frances Watson in Cobb County to talk about a signature match audit.
Meadows faces charges under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis said Trump’s allies would be tried together.
Also indicted in connection with Meadows and Trump are lawyers John Eastman and Rudy Giuliani.
Trump faces 13 charges, including a RICO Act violation.
The indictment alleges that the accused unlawfully collaborated in a “criminal enterprise” after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the Georgia election.