Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said Mark Meadows’ attempt to move her election subversion case to federal court should be rejected because the conduct in question was “political activity” outside of his official duties as former President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff.
“He has not shown how his participation in a RICO enterprise that conspired to overturn an election had any relationship to his official duties, much less how his participation in such an agreement was necessary for him to perform as a Chief of Staff,” Willis wrote, referring to the Georgia anti-racketeering law under which Willis has charged Meadows, Trump and 17 other co-defendants.
Willis sought to counter Meadows’ claim, made as part of his effort to move the charges against him to federal court, that he is immune from the state prosecution because the indictment targets conduct he was doing as an agent of the federal government.
Her office argued that the episodes involving him that were highlighted in last week’s grand jury indictment fit a pattern of him and other Trump White House officials ignoring a federal law, known as the Hatch Act, that prohibits the use of one’s federal office to engage in political activity.
Meadows’ “lack of care for the lawful scope of his official duties is a matter of record,” the district attorney told the court, and she said Meadows’ own court filings in the removal dispute “makes no mention of the fact that every single one of the activities giving rise to his indictment constitutes impermissible political activity which a Chief of Staff may not lawfully perform ‘under color of office.’”
Willis’ filing, which was submitted ahead of a Monday hearing in Atlanta before US District Judge Steve Jones, is a preview of how she could fight against a similar effort by Trump, who is also expected to seek that the state court proceedings be moved to federal court.
It also hints at the evidence she is assembling for Monday’s hearing, with references to House January 6 committee depositions given by top Trump White House aides who witnessed episodes involving Meadows that Willis contends were overt acts of the alleged RICO conspiracy.
Her office has also issued subpoenas for testimony at Monday’s hearing to two lawyers who were present on the Trump call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, which is central to the allegations Fulton County prosecutors are making against the former White House chief of staff.