Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff, provided testimony for an approximate duration of four hours on Monday in his endeavor to transfer his charges in Fulton County to a federal court.
During an evidentiary session before U.S. District Judge Scott Jones, Meadows, in what experts have characterized as a “high-risk gamble,” personally testified, contending that his post-election endeavors on support of Trump were within the scope of his official responsibilities. Meadows is endeavoring to transfer the case to a federal court, where he may perhaps secure a more advantageous judge and jury pool. Additionally, he intends to assert that he is shielded from state-level charges if his conduct were performed within the scope of his official duties. According to District Attorney Fani Willis, Meadows’ acts have been contended to be in violation of the Hatch Act, a legislation that bars political engagement by federal employees. This argument put up by Willis undermines Meadows’ case.
According to CNN, Meadows provided testimony asserting that assuming the role of chief of staff necessitated a constant commitment, as he contended that his involvement in election-related endeavors was directly linked to his responsibilities in advising President Trump.
In his analysis, Professor Ryan Goodman from New York University Law School provided a comprehensive overview of the significant aspects of Meadows’ evidence, cautioning that certain statements made by Meadows during his hearing could be interpreted as self-incriminating.
During his testimony, Meadows stated that he advised Trump to establish contact with Frances Watson, the Chief Investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Trump thereafter made a false assertion that he had secured victory in the state by a margin of “hundreds of thousands of votes.”
According to Goodman’s statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, the individual’s own comments might be interpreted as an admission that they suggested Trump to contact Watson, which is considered a crucial element of the alleged plot.
Meadows however recognized that he possessed no grounds to question the finding made by then-Attorney General Bill Barr, which deemed the fraud allegations as lacking in substance.
“Meadows adds that he believed at the time ‘further investigation’ was still warranted. That’s not enough to help him,” Goodman wrote, arguing that he believes “Meadows in some respects has even more criminal exposure than Trump.”
3. More trouble for Meadows.
He admits he "had no reason to doubt Mr. Barr's" assessment that the fraud allegations were meritless.
Meadows adds that he believed at the time “further investigation” was still warranted. That's not enough to help him.https://t.co/BSeoC1IPnE
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) August 28, 2023
Later, Meadows testified that he arranged for Cleta Mitchell and two other Trump campaign lawyers to be on the infamous call that Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to try to find a “less-litigious way of resolving” the fraud concerns. Meadows, however, claimed he could not recall the specifics of how he set up the call.
“I think he is toast,” Goodman declared.
9. Meadows who has testified he was the gatekeeper now says he can't recall details of arranging for Cleta Mitchell and two other Trump Campaign lawyers to be on the Raffensperger call.👇
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) August 28, 2023
Former Vice President Mike Pence’s top advisor Marc Short refuted Meadows’ assertion that he was functioning in his official position on Monday.
“If that was true, then why was he circumventing all the White House counsel’s advice? Why wasn’t Pat Cipollone involved? … Why wasn’t DOJ involved?” he questioned. “Instead, Mark recruited outside lawyers [to] whom he wanted to listen. And so I think that undercuts the notion that ‘this was all part of my federal responsibility,'” he added.
Here’s Marc Short on CNN debunking Mark Meadows’s defense in the Georgia case and then debunking Trumpworld’s defense of the Raffensperger call pic.twitter.com/YEdy69SMa0
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 28, 2023
“Meadows’ position boils down to a claim that if Trump robbed a bank while president and Meadows helped him, that would be part of his official duties as chief of staff because his job was to help Trump with whatever he was doing,” wrote Randall Eliason, a professor at the George Washington University Law School. “I don’t think that’s gonna fly.”
Legal professionals contended Meadows’ risk might not have paid off as he had intended.
“I do think this was a rough day for Mark Meadows,” CNN legal analyst Elie Honig said Monday, according to Mediaite. “I think it’s one thing to assert generally, ‘Well, as chief of staff I had broad duties.’ But it’s another thing to be cross-examined as he was today about very specific actions and phone calls and to sort of justify that within the scope of the chief of staff’s job.”
Georgia State Law Prof. Anthony Michael Kreis told the network that Meadows “had a very hard time today in trying to make a case.”
Although Meadows attempted to provide a broad overview of his responsibilities, Kreis said that when prosecutors pressed him on why he gave the Trump campaign money to hasten an election audit, why he organized the Raffensperger call and other meetings between campaign officials and fictitious electors, and why he did not request the DOJ to look into the matter, Meadows “didn’t really have a very good answer.”
“He had a really tough time today. I think Brad Raffensperger made it even tougher when he came in to court and basically said that… there was no lawful outcome to change the election,” he added. “So it was a pretty tough day. That said, it’s a low threshold for Mark Meadows to show in order to have this removed to federal court.”
Here’s my overview of today’s hearing for Mark Meadows. He tried to offer a sweeping job description to the court to suggest federal removal is reasonable and appropriate, but he stumbled over a lot, too. On the whole, it wasn’t a great day for Meadows on the stand at all. #gapol pic.twitter.com/vJnJSeUDiZ
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) August 29, 2023