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Judge rejects Mark Meadows' request to postpone surrender and arrest in Fulton County

Judge denies Meadows' attempt to delay arrest
Judge denies Mark Meadows' attempt to delay Georgia arrest 04:12

Washington — A federal judge in Georgia rejected a request by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to postpone his surrender and arrest in Fulton County, Georgia, as an attempt to move the case to federal court is litigated, according to a court order issued Wednesday.

"The clear statutory language for removing a criminal prosecution, does not support an injunction or temporary stay prohibiting District Attorney Willis's enforcement or execution of the arrest warrant against Meadows," Judge Steve Jones wrote in a brief ruling.

Meadows' attorneys had asked the federal court to block Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' enforcement of an arrest warrant as they worked to convince the judge to move the Georgia state case to federal court. 

Jones wrote Wednesday the law does not allow for federal court interference in the state case at the current juncture, and the prosecution of Meadows must continue while the federal court considers the broader request to transfer the case.

Meadows, who served as chief of staff in the Trump White House, argued last week that his case should be moved to federal court because the allegations contained in Willis' indictment against him occurred while he was acting in his formal capacity as White House chief of staff.

"Nothing Mr. Meadows is alleged in the indictment to have done is criminal per se: arranging Oval Office meetings, contacting state officials on the President's behalf, visiting a state government building, and setting up a phone call for the President. One would expect a Chief of Staff to the President of the United States to do these sorts of things. And they have far less to do with the interests of state law than, for example, murder charges that have been successfully removed," his attorneys wrote last week.

On Tuesday, Willis pushed back, writing in a federal court filing, "Lawfully arresting the defendant on felony charges after allowing the defendant ample time to negotiate a surrender neither deprives the defendant of the ability to seek removal nor does it impact this Court's jurisdiction to consider removal."

Court filings this week revealed a back-and-forth between Meadows' attorneys and Willis, in which his legal team fought to delay the Friday afternoon deadline Willis had set for all 19 defendants charged in the Trump case to surrender and officially be arrested. 

"Your client is no different than any other criminal defendant in this jurisdiction," Willis wrote to Meadows' legal team, according to a copy of an email provided in court filings.

Another Trump ally, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, made a similar attempt to postpone his arrest, asking the federal judge in Georgia to issue an emergency stay on the matter. On Wednesday, Judge Jones also denied that request, writing that law dictates that "the state court retains jurisdiction over the prosecution and the proceedings continue."

A federal court hearing on moving the Meadows case is set for August 28.

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