Appeals Court Denies Bid to Move Election Case to Federal Court

( – Former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who served during the Trump administration, had his appeal rejected to move his case from Georgia state court to federal court. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals delivered a unanimous decision from its three-judge panel denying Meadows’ petition to move the venue into federal court.

Meadows and 18 other defendants, including former President Donald Trump, were hit with allegations of attempting to overturn Georgia’s electoral result in the 2020 election. Trump’s team contends he was only attempting to discern if there were shenanigans in Georgia which impacted the result. The margin of victory for Biden was a slim 11,779 votes which required multiple recounts to be confirmed.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis accused the former President and 18 other individuals of running a criminal enterprise in a conspiracy to overturn the result. She deployed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act against Trump, his legal team, and former staff for asserting that Biden’s win in Georgia was suspicious otherwise the result of a rigged contest.

Meadows wanted the change venues to federal court using the argument that he was acting in his official capacity as Chief of Staff at the time. Chief judge William Pryor Jr., a 2004 George W. Bush appointee, wrote in the ruling that former federal officials are ineligible for a change of venue. Pryor also indicated that the alleged crimes would be outside of the scope of Meadows’ official duties as chief of staff as a secondary reason why the venue change wasn’t granted.

Meadows had also petitioned the court to move the Trump RICO case itself into federal court, however the judges in that case similarly were not persuaded by the arguments.

All of the 19 defendants pleaded not guilty after being indicted, however four of them took plea deals thereafter and pleaded guilty. Jenna Ellis, Sidney Powell, and Kenneth Chesebro all worked for Trump as lawyers and legal advisers. Scott Hall is a bail bondsman who also made a deal with prosecutors.

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