Trump ex-chief Mark Meadows asks judge to protect him from arrest as he seeks to move Georgia case to federal court

White House Acting Chief of Staff Mark Meadows listens during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C., April 18, 2020.

Al Drago | Reuters

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows asked a federal judge Tuesday to immediately move the Georgia criminal election interference case out of state court in order to protect him from being arrested, court filings showed.

As an alternative, the federal court could simply issue an order barring Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis from arresting Meadows this week, his attorney proposed in the 19-page filing.

Willis has already rejected Meadows’ request for an extension, the filing noted.

Meadows and 18 other co-defendants in Willis’ case, including Trump, face a Friday deadline to surrender to jail.

At least two defendants have already done so: Pro-Trump attorney John Eastman and Georgia bail bondsman Scott Hall were booked and released earlier Monday.

Former President Donald Trump has said he will surrender on Thursday.

Meadows seeks to move the state-level case to federal court. A federal judge in U.S. District Court in Atlanta scheduled a Monday morning hearing on Meadows’ request.

But Meadows’ attorney John Moran argued in the latest court filing that his bid to move the case will be harmed if he is arrested before the hearing.

“Absent this Court’s intervention, Mr. Meadows will be denied the protection from arrest that federal law affords former federal officials, and this Court’s prompt but orderly consideration of removal will be frustrated,” Moran wrote.

The attorney wrote that Willis has already “rejected out of hand” request to defer his arrest deadline until one day until after the federal court hearing.

The filing included an email from Willis, who on Monday morning wrote, “I am not granting any extensions. I gave 2 weeks for people to surrender themselves to the court. Your client is no different than any other criminal defendant in this jurisdiction.”

But Moran argued that Meadows “would be irreparably injured if the state criminal proceeding is not stopped.”

“He would be subject to arrest, to the State’s pre-trial criminal restrictions, and, ultimately, to risks of criminal sanction,” the defense attorney wrote.

The request came two days after Meadows asked the federal court to dismiss the charges stemming from Willis’ probe of the efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in Georgia’s 2020 election.

Meadows is charged in the indictment with one count of racketeering and one count of solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. The latter count is related to Meadows’ participation in a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call in which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to undo Biden’s win in the state.

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