Mark Meadows takes the stand at a hearing on a request to transfer a Georgia election case to federal court

ATLANTA (AP) — Mark Meadows took the witness stand Monday in a hearing in Atlanta about whether Trump should be allowed to run against the White House chief of staff. Georgia indictment He accused him of participating in an illegal scheme to nullify the 2020 election in federal court rather than state court.

Former President Donald Trump and Meadows, who were indicted earlier this month and 17 more peopleAfter the lunch break, cross-examination continued, with both his lawyers and counsel questioned.

For an hour and 20 minutes Monday, Meadows’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger III, asked him about his duties as Trump’s chief of staff, then looked at Meadows to ask if he did the specific acts alleged in the indictment as part of his job. . For most of the actions listed, Meadows said he did them as part of his official duty.

Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Williswho used Georgia’s Statute of Frauds To bring the suit, Trump accused Meadows and others of participating in a wide-ranging conspiracy to illegally try to keep the Republican president in power after losing the election to Democrat Joe Biden.

Meadows’ attorneys argue that his actions that led to the charges in the indictment “all occurred during his tenure and as part of his leadership.” They argue he did nothing criminal and the charges against him should be dismissed, and they want U.S. District Judge Steve Jones to transfer the case to federal court to stop any action against him at the state level. It was unclear when Jones planned to make his decision.

See also  The debt ceiling deal includes new work requirements for food stamps

Meadows specifically denied committing two acts in the indictment, one of which was accusing White House staff officer John McEntee of asking Vice President Mike Pence to draft a memo on how to delay the certification of the election.

“When it came out in the indictment, it was a huge surprise to me,” Meadows testified. He later said, “It never happened that I asked Johnny McKenzie for such a note.”

He also said he did not believe he texted Georgia Secretary of State Office Chief Investigator Francis Watson, as alleged in the indictment; Instead, he believes the text was sent to Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs.

Willis’ group argues that the actions in question were merely to keep Trump in office. These activities are clearly political in nature and illegal under the law Hatch’s Law, which restricts the partisan political activity of federal employees, responded to Meadows’ notice of removal to federal court. They hope to file a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court.

The charges against Meadows include: participating in meetings or communications with Trump and others with state lawmakers that were intended to further an illegal scheme to keep Trump in power; travel to the Atlanta suburbs where ballot envelope signature audits were underway; Arranging a phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary to the State Investigator; A participation January 2021 phone call Between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger, Trump suggested they could help Georgia “find” the votes it needs to win.

Each of these actions fell outside the scope of his duties, both in fact and as a matter of law, because Meadows “was prohibited by law from using his power or influence to interfere with or affect the outcome of the election or to participate in activities toward Mr. Trump’s victory as a presidential candidate,” Willis’ group argues. But even if that is not the case, it is clear that these activities are not part of his official duties, they argue.

See also  Palestinians flee southern Gaza amid Israeli military offensive

Willis’ team has called several witnesses to testify at Monday’s hearing, including Raffensberger, Watson and two lawyers who worked for Trump in Georgia after the election, but were not named in the indictment. They also submitted portions of proposals from several individuals, including a former Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows did not receive immunity under the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, which basically states that federal law takes precedence over state law, because his actions were “improper political activity” that was not part of his official duties and the evidence shows. Willis’ team argued that he had “personal or criminal motives for acting”.

In response to the filing by Willis’ team, Meadows’ attorneys said all that’s at issue at this point is whether the case should be transferred to federal court, and that she has met that “very low threshold.”

Meadows is a federal official and his actions were part of that role, they wrote, adding that the chief of staff has “broad responsibilities to advise and assist the president.” The merits of his immunity arguments cannot be used to decide whether to transfer the case to federal court, they argued.

“The Hatch Act is a red herring, especially at this point,” they added, and should not even be discussed until the case is transferred to federal court. “Nevertheless, Mr. Meadows complied with federal law regarding the alleged conduct,” they wrote.

At least four people charged in the indictment, including U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Clark, are seeking to move the case to federal court. The other three — former Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer, Georgia State Senate. Shawn Still and Kathy Latham — among 16 Georgia Republicans who falsely declared Trump won the 2020 presidential election and signed affidavits declaring themselves “duly elected” of the state. and eligible” voters.

See also  NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Discount Wire Targets | Fantasy football news, rankings and predictions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *