“Mr. Meadows is entitled to remove this action to federal court because the charges against him plausibly give rise to a federal defense based on his role at all relevant times as the White House Chief of Staff to the President of the United States,” attorneys for Meadows wrote in the Tuesday filing in the Northern District of Georgia.
Meadows was charged with two counts Monday in a sprawling indictment following an investigation from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D).
Meadows faces charges under the state’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations statute, along with former President Trump and 17 other co-defendants.
He also faces charges for soliciting an official to violate their oath of office — a nod to his presence on the call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) in which the former president asked the secretary to “find” additional votes for him.
In the Tuesday filing, Meadows also denied any wrongdoing in aiding Trump as he sought to reverse his 2020 election loss in the state.
“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,” the filing states.
“This is precisely the kind of state interference in a federal official’s duties that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution prohibits.”
The Supremacy Clause establishes that federal law takes precedence over state ones and prohibits states from interfering with constitutional powers bestowed upon the federal government. In the filing, Meadows claimed immunity from legal actions under the clause.
The indictment alleged he pressured state legislators in key swing states, as well as Georgia election officials. It also notes his visit to Georgia in December 2020, when he attempted to to watch a signature match audit being performed.
Meadows was ordered by a federal judge last year to speak before the Georgia special grand jury. The former chief of staff has been largely off the grid since the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack, from which damning testimony about his actions that day emerged.
Some have speculated he has cooperated with special counsel Jack Smith’s federal investigation into Trump’s efforts to stay in power after losing the 2020 election. He has not been identified as a possible co-conspirator in that case.