(LibertySociety.com) – Former President Trump’s Georgia indictment could soon end up in a federal court. He and 18 co-defendants were recently indicted by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for allegedly participating in a scheme to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. In a September 7 filing, Trump’s top attorney Steven Sadow stated that the former President was officially notifying the state court “that he may seek removal of his prosecution to federal court.” Trump has 30 days from his August 31 arraignment to officially submit a request, in which his lawyer would argue that Trump was acting in his official capacity as President of the United States.
So far, five of the former President’s co-defendants are seeking to have their cases moved to federal court. Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows testified in a hearing on August 28, telling a federal judge that his role as Chief of Staff “takes on all forms.” His attorney went through the entirety of Willis’s indictment against him, arguing that each action he took was part of his duties as a federal official. Georgia prosecutors asked Meadows if he was acting for Trump’s campaign during certain instances, which Meadows explicitly denied. The judge indicated that he would rule on the matter soon. Meadows’ attorney submitted an additional filing on August 6, asking for his case to be paused by the state judge until the federal judge rules on removal.
If Trump decides to seek removal, his attorneys will argue that he is immune from state prosecution. The Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution prohibits states from interfering with the duties of federal officials. The other defendants who are seeking removal have also cited the Supremacy Clause. Historical precedent will favor the defendants, as many cases have been moved from state to federal courts for the same reason. Willis originally requested a March 4, 2024, trial date, but changed her request to October 23 after two defendants sought a speedy trial. However, the judge presiding over the case has only set the date for those two defendants. He also expressed doubt about trying all 19 defendants at the same time.
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