Judge declines Mark Meadows’ request for stay in Georgia election interference case

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A federal judge in Georgia declined to halt his earlier decision to keep former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ case in state court after Meadows and 18 others — including former President Donald Trump — were charged in an investigation into interference in the 2020 presidential election.

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On Monday, Meadows asked for an emergency stay of U.S. District Judge Steve Jones’ decision as he continues efforts to move his case to federal court. However, Jones rejected the request on Tuesday, finding that Meadows “failed to show a stay should be granted.”

“There is nothing in the summary of arguments he plans to raise in his challenge to the denial of removal to convince this Court that its decision was incorrect,” Jones wrote. “Thus, Meadows has shown no likelihood or prevailing on the merits of his appeal.”

Meadows argued that he would suffer irreparable harm if Jones declined to halt his earlier decision, pointing to attempts to begin his trial in state court on Oct. 23. Meadows also claimed that he has already been harmed, as he had to surrender, post bond and begin preparing for a trial in Fulton County.

Jones said Wednesday that the alleged harm was not enough to convince him to pause his decision.

“Meadows’s contentions that he would be irreparably harmed by the possibility of facing trial next month are insufficient to carry his burden on the emergency stay requested,” he wrote Wednesday in his order. “No trial date has been set for Meadows, and he admits that it is not guaranteed his trial will be in October.”

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Tuesday asked Jones to deny Meadows’ request for a stay, writing in court records that he had “not made a ‘strong showing’ that he is likely to succeed on the merits.”

Meadows is also seeking an emergency order from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in hopes of halting Jones’ ruling to give the panel time to consider his request to have his case moved to federal court.

Meadows argued that he was acting within the scope of his duties as White House chief of staff in 2020 and 2021, when authorities allege that he violated Georgia’s RICO Act and solicited a public official to violate their oath as part of an effort to keep Trump in the White House. The former president lost Georgia to Biden by 11,779 votes, WSB-TV reported.

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