Mark Meadows' attempt move Georgia election interference case to federal court denied again

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to the media about US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC, on Oct, 2, 2020.(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’s attempt to move his charges in Georgia's investigation into alleged election interference in the 2020 presidential election to federal court.

Meadows, who was indicted alongside former President Donald Trump and 17 others on charges they schemed to illegally keep the Republican nominee in power despite losing the election, is trying to get his case out of state court. 

The former White House official has argued that he is covered under the Federal Officer Removal Statute, which allows federal officials to move legal cases against them to federal court when they are related to their official duties. 

In September, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled against him, finding that Meadows’ actions were taken on behalf of the Trump campaign. Meadows appealed the ruling to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and a panel of three judges ruled against him in December.

"At bottom, whatever the chief of staff’s role with respect to state election administration, that role does not include altering valid election results in favor of a particular candidate," Chief Judge William Pryor wrote in the decision.

Mark Meadows (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)


Meadows then filed another petition, this time requesting all the judges on the 11th Circuit to hear his appeal.

On Wednesday, the court denied Meadows' petition with a two-sentence ruling, writing that, "The Petition for Rehearing En Banc is DENIED." 

With this denial, Meadows' last option is to ask the Supreme Court to examine his case.

Mark Meadows charged in Georgia/'s Trump election case

Meadows, Trump and the others have pleaded not guilty to charges they participated in a sprawling scheme to illegally try to overturn Trump’s 2020 presidential election loss in Georgia, even though the state’s voters had selected Democrat Joe Biden.

The former official is charged with two counts in Fulton County's indictment: Violation of the Georgia RICO Act and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer.

Meadows said his actions were taken as part of his role as chief of staff to the Republican president. He and his lawyers also argued that, since he was a federal official at the time, the charges against him should be heard in federal court and, ultimately, dismissed for lack of merit.

Prosecutors said the actions laid out in the indictment were meant to keep Trump in office after he lost to Biden. They said the acts were explicitly political in nature and are illegal under the Hatch Act, which restricts partisan political activity by federal employees. As such, they said, the case should stay in Fulton County Superior Court.

Meadows served as Trump’s fourth and final chief of staff after being tapped in March 2020 to replace Mick Mulvaney. Before being elevated to the position of the president’s top aide, Meadows was a congressman representing North Carolina.

The Associated Press contributed to this report