Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday raised concerns he could be convicted in the Georgia election interference case before a decision is made on whether he should be tried in federal court.
A judge on Friday denied Meadows’s attempt to move his charges out of state court, and he quickly filed an appeal.
Even as Meadows continues his fight, the ruling enables the state court to meanwhile enter a conviction for him. So Meadows is now urging a federal judge to pause the effect of Friday’s denial.
“At a minimum, the Court should stay the remand order to protect Meadows from a conviction pending appeal,” his attorney wrote in court filings.
“Absent a stay, the State will continue seeking to try Meadows 42 days from now on October 23, 2023. If the State gets its way, Meadows could be forced to go to trial—and could be convicted and incarcerated—before the standard timeline for a federal appeal would play out.”
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, who will rule on the motion, ordered Fulton County, Ga., District Attorney Fani Willis (D) to respond in writing by noon Tuesday.
If successful, Meadows’s motion would still allow the state court to move toward trial as long as it doesn’t enter a conviction for him.
“A stay of Remand Order will not prejudice the State, nor other defendants in state court, because it would not prevent other ongoing proceedings; it would only prevent the court from entering a verdict against Meadows,” his attorney wrote in Monday’s motion.
“And it will not prevent proceeding in state court if the State prevails on appeal,” he continued. “Whatever minimal burden the State faces from a stay pales in comparison to the burden on Meadows.”
Meadows previously asked the state court to pause all of his proceedings entirely until the issue is resolved. A ruling on that motion has not been issued.
Meadows is accused of entering a months-long conspiracy to keep former President Trump in power following the 2020 election. He faces charges of racketeering and soliciting a public officer to violate their oath. Meadows pleaded not guilty.
He is attempting to move his case to federal court by arguing he was acting within the scope of his job as White House chief of staff. Succeeding would provide Meadows a mechanism to assert constitutional immunity and get the charges dismissed.
But the judge on Friday rejected Meadows’s request, ruling most of the allegations against him in the indictment were political activities outside the scope of his job.