Former Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., speaks during a forum on House and GOP Conference rules for the 118th Congress, at the FreedomWorks office in Washington, D.C., on Monday, November 14, 2022.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff, on Monday sought to pause an order rejecting his bid to move his Georgia criminal election interference case to federal court.
In an “emergency motion” filed Monday morning, Meadows asked a federal judge — who last week declined to move the case out of state court — to stay that order pending an appeal.
Meadows’ attorney said that “given the urgency of the matter,” he will ask the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to pause the order on Monday afternoon unless the federal court grants his request for a stay beforehand.
“While Mr. Meadows respectfully believes the Court erred, this Court need not agree to stay the Remand Order,” his attorney wrote in the filing in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
Early Monday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones replied to Meadows’ emergency request by ordering Georgia prosecutors to file a brief in response by Tuesday at 12 p.m. ET.
Meadows, 64, is one of Trump’s 18 co-defendants in Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis’ case, which alleges an illegal conspiracy to try to overturn Trump’s loss to President Joe Biden in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election. Meadows is charged with one count each of violating Georgia’s racketeering law and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer.
At least four other co-defendants have also sought to remove their cases to federal court. Meadows, Trump and all of their co-defendants have all pleaded not guilty.
Meadows’ filing argued that without a stay of Jones’ order, the former White House chief could be “irreparably injured” as his prosecution charges forward in state court.
“Absent a stay, the State will continue seeking to try Meadows 42 days from now,” his attorneys wrote. “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.”
They asked that “at a minimum, the Court should stay the remand order to protect Meadows from a conviction pending appeal.”
Trump could soon file his own bid to move the case to federal court: His attorneys said in a court filing last week that they may seek a transfer.
Trump and some of his co-defendants may believe that they have a better chance of getting a more favorable jury in federal court than in Fulton County, which voted overwhelmingly for Biden in the 2020 election.