(ATLANTA, GA) — The same federal judge who denied former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows’ effort to move his Fulton County election interference case to federal court has denied Meadows’ request for an emergency stay of the order, pending appeal.
Judge Steve Jones said in his order Tuesday that Meadows “failed to show a stay should be granted.”
As part of the order, Jones took note of Meadows’ argument that he would be irreparably harmed by the possibility of a trial next month, but the judge said that “no trial date has been set for Meadows, and he admits that it is not guaranteed his trial will be in October.”
The development comes as Fulton Country District Attorney Fani Willis continues to push for all 19 defendants in the case to be tried together.
“Breaking this case up into multiple lengthy trials would create an enormous strain on the judicial resources of the Fulton County Superior Court,” Willis wrote in a court filing Tuesday.
Judge Scott McAfee last week set an Oct. 23 trial date for defendants Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell after they both filed speedy trial demands. Several additional defendants — including former President Donald Trump — have filed motions to sever their cases.
Willis, in Tuesday’s filing, laid out a potential “logistical quagmire” if severance is granted: that once granted severance, the defendants then turn around and request their own speedy trials after the Oct. 23 trial has started, thus “forcing the Fulton County Court System to simultaneously accommodate three or more trials, on the same facts, before three or more sets of judges.”
As a result, the DA asked the judge to require the other defendants to waive their right to a speedy trial and “go on the record” with their requested trial date, in order to “prevent the logistical quagmire” she described.
Meadows, meanwhile, still has a separate, pending motion for emergency stay with the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. No ruling has come down from that court, which has ordered briefings from both parties.
Judge Jones last week rejected Meadows’ bid to have his case moved, based on a federal law that calls for the removal of criminal proceedings brought in state court to the federal court system when someone is charged for actions they allegedly took as a federal official acting “under color” of their office.
Meadows and 18 others, including former President Donald Trump, have pleaded not guilty to all charges in a sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state of Georgia.
The former president says his actions were not illegal and that the investigation is politically motivated.
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