Mark Meadows, the former White House Chief of Staff, is appealing to a federal court to quash state criminal charges in Georgia linked to the post-2020 US presidential election.
In a 37-page filing submitted to a US district court in Georgia over the weekend, Meadows contends that his involvement, which included a notable phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger alongside former President Donald Trump, should be exempt from state legal action. He argues this on the grounds that his actions were undertaken in his official federal capacity.
Specifically, his defense leans on the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, which typically grants federal officials immunity from state prosecution for acts reasonably falling within their official duties. “The conduct charged here falls squarely within the scope of Mr. Meadows’s duties as chief of staff and the federal policy underlying that role,” stated the document, authored by Meadows’ legal team. Additionally, the document cites protections under both the First and 14th Amendments.
This legal move follows closely on the heels of Meadows’ effort to transition the case from Georgia’s Fulton County jurisdiction to a federal venue. The backdrop to these legal maneuvers is a comprehensive 41-count indictment from a Georgia grand jury.
This indictment, which names Meadows, Trump, and 17 other defendants, accuses them of conspiring to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia. Among the specific allegations, Meadows is said to have disseminated misleading statements about the election’s outcome, conspired to hinder the congressional certification of electoral votes on January 6, 2021, and attempted to expedite signature verification in Fulton County.
The indictment also references the contentious phone call in which Trump allegedly urged Raffensperger to secure enough votes to overturn his loss in Georgia, a request Raffensperger refused.