J. Tom Morgan, a former district attorney in Dekalb County, Georgia, commented on Monday that he is “absolutely amazed” that Mark Meadows, a former chief of staff in the White House, testified in a hearing to take his Georgia election case to federal court. Morgan was referring to the fact that Meadows testified.
Morgan stated in an interview for CNN’s program “Inside Politics” that putting a defendant on the stand at any time, and most particularly during pretrial motions, is a “calculated risk,” and that the risk is typically planned to go against the defendant. “I am completely taken aback by the fact that he is taking the stand.”
Meadows took the stand for an unexpectedly long period of time during a hearing in Atlanta on Monday. He was testifying in connection with his efforts to have his charges transferred from state court to federal court so that he might argue immunity and have the counts dropped.
“Just because you get paid by the federal government doesn’t mean that everything you do falls within the parameters of your job description as a federal official,” Morgan explained to her colleague. “It’s important to remember that.” “By doing what he was doing, Mr. Meadows was assisting the president and others in their efforts to overturn the election in Georgia.”
When questioned if he would not have permitted Meadows to testify if he had been his client, Morgan repeated that “It’s a calculated risk.”
“It seems like there were other ways that you could get this evidence without putting the defendant on the witness stand,” Morgan stated. “Having served as a prosecutor in the past, I would be salivating at the prospect of having the chance to cross-examine Mr. Meadows.”
To be able to switch courts, Meadows needs to prove that he was a federal officer, that the charges relate to an act performed “under color of such office,” and that he has a credible federal defense. Only then would the court allow him to switch courts. In the event that he is successful, the jury pool would be broadened to include parts of suburban Atlanta with a lower proportion of Democrats, and a federal judge would instead preside over the proceedings.
Meadows wants to completely sidestep having to go through with a trial and has already asked the federal court that is handling the matter to drop all of the accusations against him.
Meadows was the first of the five co-defendants in the election case to file to shift their charges, and he was also the first to have a hearing over the request. The other co-defendants all filed their motions after Meadows. Even though the hearing on Monday was centered on solely Meadows’ motion to relocate his case, the ruling might have repercussions for other defendants, who could automatically travel to federal court with Meadows. This was the primary focus of the meeting on Monday.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, who is in charge of supervising the petitions made by the co-defendants, has scheduled hearings for two of the others for September 18, but he has not yet taken any action about the requests made by the other two co-defendants.
The Democratic District Attorney for Fulton County, Georgia, Fani Willis, has accused Meadows along with Trump and 17 other co-defendants in an alleged plot to overturn the presidential elections scheduled to take place in Georgia in 2020.
In the indictment, he is charged with two felonies: racketeering and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer. Both of these charges are considered serious offenses.
Meadows, who was a character in the past that gravitated toward the limelight, has been mostly out of the public eye since the scathing testimony about his conduct on January 6. This is despite the fact that Meadows had been a figure in the past that drew toward the limelight.