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Mark Meadows Testifies At Georgia Case Hearing

ATLANTA (AP) — Mark Meadows took the witness stand Monday at a listening to in Atlanta over whether or not the Trump White House chief of employees ought to be allowed to combat the Georgia indictment accusing him of collaborating in an unlawful scheme to overturn the 2020 election in federal court docket fairly than in a state court docket.

Meadows, who was charged earlier this month together with former President Donald Trump and 17 different folks, was questioned by each his legal professionals and prosecutors, with cross-examination set to proceed after a lunch break.

For an hour and 20 minutes Monday, Meadows’ lawyer George J. Terwilliger III requested him about his duties as Trump’s chief of employees after which walked Meadows by the precise acts accused within the indictment to ask if he had accomplished these as a part of his job. For many of the acts listed, Meadows mentioned he had carried out them as a part of his official obligation.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who used Georgia’s racketeering legislation to deliver the case, alleges that Trump, Meadows and the others participated in a wide-ranging conspiracy to illegally attempt to preserve the Republican president in energy even after his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Lawyers for Meadows argue that his actions that gave rise to the costs within the indictment “all occurred during his tenure and as part of his service as Chief of Staff.” They argue that he did nothing legal and that the costs towards him ought to be dismissed, and so they need U.S. District Judge Steve Jones to maneuver the case to federal court docket to halt any proceedings towards him on the state stage. It was unclear when Jones deliberate to make his resolution.

White House chief of employees Mark Meadows speaks with reporters on the White House, Oct. 21, 2020, in Washington.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Meadows notably denied performing two acts within the indictment, together with one wherein he’s accused of asking White House personnel officer John McEntee to draft a memo to Vice President Mike Pence on the way to delay certification of the election.

“When this came out in the indictment, it was the biggest surprise for me,” Meadows testified. He later mentioned, “Me asking Johnny McEntee for this kind of a memo just didn’t happen.”

He additionally mentioned he doesn’t imagine he texted Georgia secretary of state’s workplace chief investigator Frances Watson, because the indictment alleged; fairly, he mentioned, he believes that textual content was despatched to Jordan Fuchs, the secretary of state’s chief of employees.

Willis’ group argues that the actions in query had been meant solely to maintain Trump in workplace. These actions had been explicitly political in nature and are unlawful beneath the Hatch Act, which restricts partisan political exercise by federal workers, they wrote in a response to Meadows’ discover of removing to federal court docket. They imagine the case ought to stay in Fulton County Superior Court.

The allegations towards Meadows embody: collaborating in conferences or communications with state lawmakers together with Trump and others that had been meant to advance the alleged unlawful scheme to maintain Trump in energy; touring to Atlanta’s suburbs the place a poll envelope signature audit was occurring; arranging a telephone name between Trump and a Georgia secretary of state investigator; collaborating in a January 2021 telephone name between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger throughout which Trump recommended Raffensperger may assist “find” the votes wanted for him to win Georgia.

Since Meadows was “forbidden by law to use his authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of an election or otherwise participate in activity directed toward the success of Mr. Trump as a candidate for the presidency, every single one of these activities fell outside the scope of his duties, both as a matter of fact and as a matter of law,” Willis’ group argues. But even when that weren’t the case, it’s clear these actions weren’t a part of his official duties, they argue.

Willis’ group has subpoenaed a number of witnesses to look at Monday’s listening to, together with Raffensperger, Watson and two legal professionals who did work for Trump in Georgia within the aftermath of the election however who weren’t named within the indictment. They have additionally submitted excerpts of beforehand taken depositions of a number of folks, together with former Meadows assistant Cassidy Hutchinson.

Meadows shouldn’t be entitled to immunity beneath the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which mainly says that federal legislation takes priority over state legislation, as a result of his actions had been “improper political activity” that weren’t a part of his official duties and the proof exhibits that he had “personal or criminal motivations for acting,” Willis’ group argued.

In response to Willis’ group’s submitting, Meadows’ legal professionals mentioned all that’s at subject in the intervening time is whether or not the case ought to be moved to federal court docket and that he has met that “very low threshold.”

Meadows was a federal official and his actions had been a part of that function, they wrote, noting that the chief of employees has “broad-ranging duties to advise and assist the President.” The deserves of his arguments of immunity can’t be used to determine whether or not the case ought to be moved to federal court docket, they argued.

They added that the “Hatch Act is a red herring, particularly at this stage,” and shouldn’t even be mentioned till after the case is moved to federal court docket. “Nonetheless, Mr. Meadows complied with federal law in connection with the charged conduct,” they wrote.

At least 4 others charged within the indictment are additionally looking for to maneuver the case to federal court docket, together with U.S. Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark. The different three — former Georgia Republican Party chair David Shafer, Georgia state Sen. Shawn Still and Cathy Latham — are among the many 16 Georgia Republicans who signed a certificates declaring falsely that Trump had gained the 2020 presidential election and declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors.




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