Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows filed an emergency motion in federal court on Tuesday demanding that he be protected from arrest in Georgia on charges that he conspired with former President Donald Trump to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.
Meadows, 64, faces a Friday deadline to voluntarily surrender to authorities in Fulton County, Georgia — but he has asked a judge to move his case out of state court, citing immunity to local charges given his status as a federal official in the run-up and aftermath of the 2020 presidential election.
“Defendant Mark R. Meadows hereby moves for the Court ‘promptly’ to permit removal and ‘so notify the State court,’ 28 U.S.C. § 1455(b)(5), without a hearing and before Noon on Friday, August 25, 2023, in order to protect Mr. Meadows from arrest prior to this Court’s upcoming hearing on removal,” a court filing from the former White House official and North Carolina congressman reads.
“Absent this Court’s intervention, Mr. Meadows will be denied the protection from arrest that federal law affords former federal officials,” lawyers for Meadows wrote to US District Court Judge Steven Jones.
Meadows, who was indicted earlier this month on charges under the Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute and for allegedly soliciting an official to violate their oath of office, was notified by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis Tuesday morning that his request to delay his arrest until Jones can rule on his transfer motion has been rejected.
“I am not granting any extensions,” Willis wrote in an email to Meadows’ attorneys, the court filing shows. “I gave 2 weeks for people to surrender themselves to the court. Your client is no different than any other criminal defendant in this jurisdiction. The two weeks was a tremendous courtesy. At 12:30 pm on Friday I shall file warrants in the system. My team has availability to meet to discuss reasonable consent bonds Wednesday and Thursday.”
On Aug. 15, one day after Meadows, Trump and 17 others were indicted in Willis’ probe, the former White House chief of staff petitioned the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to transfer his case to federal court, where he will move to have the charges dismissed.
Meadows argues that he was acting within the scope of his authority as a “federal official” when he engaged in the actions cited in the indictment.
The court agreed to hold a hearing on Meadows’ request, but not until Aug. 28.
Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who is also charged in the Fulton County indictment, has also asked the Northern District of Georgia to prohibit Willis from arresting him by Friday, citing the same immunity from local charges.