Mark Meadows Asks Judge to Block His Arrest in Georgia Election Case

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(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows asked a federal judge in Georgia to block state authorities from arresting him if he fails to surrender by Aug. 25 on charges that he conspired with his ex-boss to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election.

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Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis should be barred from having Meadows arrested while he fights to have the state case moved to federal court and dismissed, his lawyer said Tuesday in an emergency filing in Atlanta.

Meadows argues his surrender should be put off until after an Aug. 28 hearing on his request to transfer the case to federal court. He argues he’s protected from state prosecution under the US Constitution because he was an employee of the federal government during the alleged misconduct.

Willis refused to grant Meadows an extension, telling his lawyer in an email Tuesday that Meadows is “no different than any other criminal defendant in this jurisdiction” and that the two-week window provided for surrender was a “tremendous courtesy,” according to the filing.

The resistance by Meadows puts him in stark contrast to Trump, who grudgingly agreed to a $200,000 bond with the district attorney and announced that he is planning to appear in Atlanta on Aug. 24 to be booked at the Fulton County Jail — the fourth time he’ll be processed as a criminal defendant this year.

Willis indicted Trump and 18 alleged co-conspirators earlier this month, alleging they participated in a criminal enterprise to keep Trump in office after he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden. She gave all the defendants until Aug. 25 to surrender.

“Unfortunately, the state is set on subjecting Mr. Meadows to criminal process in Georgia as quickly as it can and without regard to his pending efforts to remove the case to federal court,” Meadows’s lawyer said in the filing.

Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department official who is charged in the case, has also asked to have his case moved to federal court and on Monday night sought a court order barring his arrest.

US District Judge Judge Steve C. Jones gave Willis until 3 p.m. on Aug. 23 to respond to the filing by Meadows.

Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for Willis, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on the filing.

Trump’s co-defendants have been securing bond agreements this week as they prepare to voluntarily surrender. John Eastman, a lawyer in Trump’s orbit who helped devise a plan to keep him in office, turned himself in earlier Tuesday.

--With assistance from David Voreacos.

(Updates with detail from the court filing.)

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