Federal Judge Steve Jones has denied a recent request from Trump ally Mark Meadows for what would have amounted to a delay in the criminal proceedings he is currently facing in the state court system in Georgia.
Meadows was charged there alongside former President Donald Trump and others for allegedly participating in an extensive conspiracy targeting the state’s election results from 2020, and Meadows had specifically pushed Jones for a stay — meaning delay — covering the judge’s own prior rejection of demands from Meadows for a transfer to federal court.
Meadows had pursued an appeal of Jones’s earlier denial, meaning the former White House official was seeking a different outcome from higher-level judicial authorities. Moving the allegations against him originating with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis could significantly alter the dynamics of the case, including in elements like jury composition at any eventual trial. Others charged in the sweeping case have also sought a move to federal court, including several of those who participated as sham electors for Trump from Georgia in 2020 and Jeffrey Clark, a former official at the federal Justice Department.
Ordinarily, there are protections providing for such a transfer if the conduct challenged in the original charges relates in substantial manner to federal responsibilities, but these defendants have so far failed to make any sweeping showing that what they were doing after the 2020 race was, in fact, part of an official role. In the case of the sham electors, for instance, their claim to be serving as members of the electoral college in some scenario didn’t mean they actually were holding such positions. And Clark was informed in specific terms while on the job of how his own pursuits, including seeking to send deceptive missives to state officials in Georgia, weren’t fitting for support by the Justice Department.