Three weeks after a judge rejected a similar attempt by the former president's White House chief of staff, former President Donald Trump's attorneys said in a filing Thursday that he will not seek to get his Georgia election meddling case transferred to state court.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ruled on September 8 that Chief of Staff Mark Meadows "has not met even the 'quite low' threshold" to move his case to federal court, as The Washington Times reported.
This is due to the fact that the actions described in the indictment were not performed in the course of his official duties, which led to the filing of the notice in federal court in Atlanta. Meadows plans to challenge the verdict.
Trump has pled not guilty to charges related to his efforts to change the results of the 2020 election, including an alleged violation of Georgia's anti-racketeering law. Along with Meadows and 16 others, he was indicted last month.
The notification, submitted in state court in Atlanta by Trump's defense attorney, may have reflected the challenges that other defendants have had in trying to shift their cases to federal court.
However, it did express confidence in the way Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee will handle the trial.
“President Trump now notifies the court that he will NOT be seeking to remove his case to federal court,” the notice states.
"This decision is based on his well-founded confidence that this honorable court intends to fully and completely protect his constitutional right to a fair trial and guarantee him due process of law throughout the prosecution of his case in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia.”
Moving the matter to federal court would have given Trump the opportunity to try to have all charges dropped on the basis that federal officials have immunity from prosecution for activities made in the course of their official duties.
Since cameras are not permitted in federal courtrooms, relocating the trial would have provided for a larger pool of prospective jurors outside of heavily Democratic Fulton County.
Even if Trump were to be reelected in 2024, he or any other president would not have been allowed to pardon him because any conviction would still occur under state law regardless of where the trial took place.
Three false electors and a former U.S. Justice Department officer named Jeffrey Clark are among the other defendants who want to take their cases to federal court.
Those cases have not yet been decided by Jones, and while the other defendants did not testify, Meadows did so as part of his attempt to have his case dismissed. Trump was not obligated to testify at his own hearing, but has stated that he is unafraid to do so.
Any answers he gave under cross-examination by the prosecution may have been used against him at trial.
So far, Trump's attempt to have a state case in New York transferred to federal court on grounds of alleged fraudulent company documents in connection with a hush money payment to a porn performer has been fruitless. He filed a petition with a federal appeals court asking that the case be moved out of state court.