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Christie: Meadows Has Grounds to Move Ga. Case to Federal Court

Republican White House hopeful Chris Christie stated on Sunday that Mark Meadows, former chief of staff in the Trump administration, possesses a legal rationale to advocate for relocating his Georgia case to a federal court.

“He’s got an argument to make. … There’s no doubt about that under the statutes. There’s an argument to make,” the former New Jersey governor said during an interview on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

In a Monday hearing in Atlanta, legal representatives acting on Meadows’ behalf are expected to argue for the transfer of his legal proceedings to a federal court. This maneuver would enable Meadows to partially assert immunity owing to charges from his tenure within the executive branch.

Drawing from his experience as a former federal prosecutor, Christie said the decision to change the venue lies within the purview of the presiding trial judge.

Like other co-defendants, Meadows, a defendant in the Georgia case alongside former President Donald Trump, seeks to transfer the proceedings to federal court.

“Here’s a federal judge who’s going to be hearing that, and he’s going to want to hear all the different evidence and the balancing of the interests in these venue decisions on that basis,” Christie said. “So is there an argument to be made? There’s definitely an argument to be about switching venue to federal court.”

Christie contended that a venue change would likely have minimal impact, with the primary outcome being the probable avoidance of a televised trial.

“In the end, all of the charges must remain the same,” Christie said. “So I think that whether Mark Meadows wins that motion or doesn’t is not going to make a substantive difference on how ultimately a jury is going to be asked to make these decisions at the time of the trial.”

Earlier this month, Meadows found himself among a group of 19 co-defendants, including former President Trump, who faced charges linked to an alleged conspiracy aimed at overturning the 2020 presidential election outcomes within the state.

On Wednesday, a federal judge declined Meadows’ bid to halt his impending arrest just before the deadline set by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, for defendants to submit to the authorities. Meadows surrendered on Thursday and posted a $100,000 bond through a surety bond arrangement.

To get the case moved to federal court, Meadows must establish his status as a federal officer, connect the accusations and actions conducted “under color of such office,” and present a tenable federal defense.

Meadows is striving to circumvent a trial, a goal that aligns with his prior petition to the federal court. His plea entailed dismissing the charges following the assumption of control over the case.

Although the hearing scheduled for Monday centers on Meadows’ petition to relocate the case to federal jurisdiction, the ruling holds potential repercussions for fellow defendants who might be drawn into federal court alongside Meadows.

Among five co-defendants, Meadows will be the initial one to advocate for transferring charges to federal court. Success could initiate a series of similar moves by figures such as Trump and other co-defendants.

Meadows faces two felony charges: racketeering and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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