Andrew Weissmann, a former official in the federal Justice Department who now provides legal commentary for MSNBC, doesn’t have a lot of faith in the chances seen by several of the co-defendants in Donald Trump’s Georgia criminal case for moving the handling of their proceedings to federal court.
That case, which alleges a criminal conspiracy targeting Georgia’s election results from 2020, includes among the defendants individuals who joined the slate of sham electors for Trump from the state in 2020, professing support for Trump as purported members of the electoral college in some scenario despite Biden’s narrow win in Georgia. Several such individuals have pushed for the allegations they’re facing to be moved to federal court, citing the protections ordinarily available to individuals who fulfilled a federal responsibility… though their purported federal roles as electoral college members were never legitimized by accepted authorities. It seems difficult to imagine success for these individuals.
“I think the fake electors probably have the worst argument,” Weissmann said. “You can’t really claim that you have federal office because you were pretending to be an elector when you weren’t. So we’ll see what happens in the hearings this week, but I’m pretty sure that the people who are doing that are thinking their best chance might be on appeal, but not before the district judge, that he’s going to likely follow the same ruling he made with respect to Mark Meadows.” Meadows, who served as chief of staff in the Trump White House as Trump’s time in office wound down, is also among those charged and recently failed in his own efforts to move to federal court.
Also among those pushing for such a move is Jeffrey Clark, who held a high-ranking position in the federal Justice Department during the critical period after the 2020 election. In arguments filed in federal court, Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who brought the case, blasted the idea that what Clark did after the 2020 election to try and support Trump’s ambitions fit reasonably within the federal responsibilities he did possess.