(ATLANTA, GA) — An appeals court on Wednesday granted former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ request for an expedited review of his emergency motion seeking to block a lower court’s ruling that kept his Georgia election interference case in state court.
Meadows appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals after Judge Steve Jones last week rejected Meadows’ bid to have his case moved, based on a federal law that calls for the removal of criminal proceedings brought in state court to the federal court system when someone is charged for actions they allegedly took as a federal official acting “under color” of their office.
In its ruling Wednesday, the appeals court ordered Meadows to file initial briefs on the matter by Sept. 18, with a response from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis due by Sept. 25.
The ruling came a day after Jones denied a separate request for a stay from Meadows, saying that Meadows had “failed to show a stay should be granted.”
As part of the order, Jones took note of Meadows’ argument that he would be irreparably harmed by the possibility of a trial next month, but the judge said that “no trial date has been set for Meadows, and he admits that it is not guaranteed his trial will be in October.”
The development comes as Fulton Country District Attorney Fani Willis continues to push for all 19 defendants in the case to be tried together.
“Breaking this case up into multiple lengthy trials would create an enormous strain on the judicial resources of the Fulton County Superior Court,” Willis wrote in a court filing Tuesday.
Judge Scott McAfee last week set an Oct. 23 trial date for defendants Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell after they both filed speedy trial demands. Several additional defendants — including former President Donald Trump — have filed motions to sever their cases.
Willis, in Tuesday’s filing, laid out a potential “logistical quagmire” if severance is granted: that once granted severance, the defendants then turn around and request their own speedy trials after the Oct. 23 trial has started, thus “forcing the Fulton County Court System to simultaneously accommodate three or more trials, on the same facts, before three or more sets of judges.”
As a result, the DA asked the judge to require the other defendants to waive their right to a speedy trial and “go on the record” with their requested trial date, in order to “prevent the logistical quagmire” she described.
Meadows and 18 others, including former President Donald Trump, have pleaded not guilty to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia.
Meadows is accused in the indictment of participating in eight “overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy,” while his attorney has said that “Nothing Mr. Meadows is alleged in the indictment to have done is criminal.”
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