Mark Meadows has 'fatally sabotaged' his defense in Georgia indictment: legal experts

Mark Meadows has 'fatally sabotaged' his defense in Georgia indictment: legal experts

Two of the four criminal indictments that former President Donald Trump is facing involve his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. But there are some key differences between a federal prosecution by special counsel Jack Smith for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and a prosecution by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for the State of Georgia.

Legal experts have been describing Smith's case as lean and mean and using words like "expansive," "broad" and "ambitious" to describe Willis'. In the Georgia indictment, 18 of Trump's allies are listed as co-conspirators. And Willis, unlike Smith, is using RICO laws as part of her prosecution.

One of the alleged co-conspirators Willis lists is former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who is trying to get his Georgia prosecution moved to federal court. If he is successful in doing that and is found guilty in the case, a future Republican president — be it Trump or someone else — would be able to grant him a pardon, which wouldn't be an option with a Georgia conviction. A Georgia pardon would have to come from Gov. Brian Kemp, a conservative Republican who has pushed back against Trump's debunked voter fraud claims and maintained that President Joe Biden won Georgia fair and square.

POLL: Should Trump be allowed to hold office again?

In an article published by Just Security on August 28, three legal experts — Walter Shaub, Norm L. Eisen and Joshua Kolb — argue that Meadows has "fatally sabotaged" his defense.

"A proper and straightforward understanding of the Hatch Act — which prohibits executive branch employees from interfering in elections — indicates that Meadows will not be able to meet his burden of showing the alleged conduct was connected to his official duties," Shaub, Eisen and Kolb explain. "To remove the case to federal court, Meadows will need to show that: (1) His charged conduct was for, or relating to, any act under the 'color of his office' as White House chief of staff,' and (2) He has a 'colorable federal defense' to the charges."

The legal experts add that the Hatch Act "severs any evidentiary or legal thread with which Meadows could hope to tie the chief of staff's official authority to the charged conduct."

"The very purpose of the Hatch Act was to place political acts of the kind charged here beyond the reach of the office of chief of staff to the president," they note. "A person who holds the position of White House chief of staff may never use their official authority as a government employee to influence an election…. Put simply, Meadows cannot meet his burden of demonstrating a connection between the conduct and his duties because his duty was specifically to avoid committing the conduct. He cannot show he was 'carrying out' his 'executive duties' because his duty was to carry out a law prohibiting that conduct."

READ MORE:Fani Willis calls for October trial in Trump Fulton County case

The legal experts go on to say that Meadows' "attempt to get the case dismissed by raising federal defenses may have fatally sabotaged his removal effort."

"(Meadows) has undermined any potential for showing that the charged conduct was for, or related to, any act under the 'color of his office," according to Shaub, Eisen and Kolb. "Meadows has not so far met his burden in seeking to remove his criminal case to federal court, and he likely cannot meet it at the evidentiary hearing."

READ MORE:'If anybody' could prosecute Trump, 'Fani Willis can': ex-Atlanta mayor

Read Just Security's full article at this link.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2023 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by