Judge denies Trump aide Mark Meadows request to pause ruling that sent Georgia election case back to state court


Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, listens to a question from a member of the media outside of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

Chris Kleponis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A federal judge denied former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ request for an emergency stay of a ruling that sent his Georgia election interference case back to state court, a court filing showed Wednesday.

Meadows, former President Donald Trump’s final chief of staff, had asked U.S. District Judge Steve Jones to pause his ruling pending an appeal in a higher court.

But Jones sided with Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis, who on Tuesday urged the judge to reject Meadows’ latest move in his ongoing push to try and move his case to federal court.

Meadows “has not shown he is entitled to an emergency stay,” Jones ruled in an order dated Tuesday and made public Wednesday morning on the docket in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

Jones on Friday had denied Meadows’ initial bid to move the sweeping Georgia RICO case out of Fulton County and into federal court.

Meadows has also asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to grant an emergency stay, arguing that Jones “egregiously erred” when he refused to remove the case to federal court. The appeals court has not yet ruled on Meadows’ request, but ordered Willis to respond by noon on Wednesday.

Willis’ 41-count indictment in Fulton County Superior Court charges Trump, Meadows and 17 other co-defendants as part of an illegal conspiracy to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia’s 2020 election.

Meadows is charged with one count each of violating Georgia’s racketeering law and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. Meadows, Trump and their co-defendants have all pleaded not guilty.

At least four other defendants are trying to move their cases out of Fulton County, which encompasses Atlanta and voted overwhelmingly for Biden in 2020.

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Meadows’ attorneys have argued in the federal district and appellate courts that he could face “irreparable harm” because his case could go to trial and lead to his conviction and incarceration before his appeal plays out.

Two other co-defendants have their trials set for late October, and Meadows’ lawyers said the state prosecutors will seek the same schedule for him.

But in his latest ruling, Jones wrote that Meadows’ arguments offered nothing “to convince this Court that its decision was incorrect.”

And Meadows failed to show “anything more than a possibility of irreparable harm in absence of a stay,” which is not sufficient, Jones wrote.

The judge added, “No trial date has been set for Meadows, and he admits that it is not guaranteed his trial will be in October.”


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