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Prosecutors in Fulton County, Ga., are pushing back on claims they possess anti-Trump and anti-GOP bias, according to CNN. The remarks came after they were accused by one attorney representing a group of counter-electors of targeting Republicans.
Craig Gillen, an attorney representing former Georgia GOP chair David Shafer, blasted District Attorney Fani Willis and accused her of targeting the electors for simply “doing their civic duty,” according to CNN.
Gillen lamented the “sad state of affairs in this country,” declaring that Americans who support former President Donald Trump in any way should “buckle up” because “you’re in the danger zone, you’re going to get indicted by this crowd.”
“That’s an accusation that, 100%, the state rejects,” prosecutor Anna Cross said in response, adding that the racketeering case brought by Willis against 19 co-defendants, including the former president, “doesn’t have anything to do with an ‘R’ or a ‘D’… sitting next to someone’s name.”
Attorneys for three of the alternate electors were in federal court on Wednesday, arguing to remove their clients from state court to the federal system.
“Shafer, Georgia state Sen. Shawn Still and former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham are the latest defendants in the case to attempt this legal maneuver. They have all pleaded not guilty,” CNN said.
Meanwhile, Trump formally informed the judge overseeing his Georgia election subversion case that he “may” attempt to transfer his state-level case to federal court last week.
The charges against Trump could be dropped by invoking immunity protections for federal officials, as Trump’s attorneys have previously stated they would try to move the case.
“President Trump hereby notifies the Court that he may seek removal of his prosecution to federal court,” his lawyer Steven Sadow said in a brief court filing. “To be timely, his notice of removal must be filed within 30 days of his arraignment.”
When Trump waived his right to an arraignment hearing and pleaded not guilty on August 31, the 30-day clock started ticking.
If Trump is successful in having the state case transferred to federal court, he could gain several advantages. If he can persuade a judge that his alleged actions in the indictment were connected to his official duties as a government official, it will give him more opportunities to have the charges dropped.
The jurors will all be residents of Fulton County, which President Joe Biden won by a margin of 47 points if the case remains in federal court. The jury pool will be chosen from a 10-county area close to Atlanta that Biden won by 32 points, a smaller but still comfortable margin if the case is transferred to federal court, CNN reported.
A number of the 19 co-defendants in the case against Trump are already trying to transfer it to federal court.
Mark Meadows, his former chief of staff, provided testimony during a hearing last week in an effort to advance the case. Later this month, additional hearings are scheduled to determine whether a federal judge will consider similar requests made by Jeffrey Clark, a former Justice Department employee who served under Trump and the other defendants.
However, earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones in Atlanta, an Obama appointee, wrote in a 49-page ruling that Meadows “has not met even the ‘quite low’ threshold” to move his case to federal court, adding that the question was whether his actions at issue were linked to his role as a federal official, the Associated Press reported.
“The evidence adduced at the hearing establishes that the actions at the heart of the State’s charges against Meadows were taken on behalf of the Trump campaign with an ultimate goal of affecting state election activities and procedures,” Jones wrote. “Meadows himself testified that working for the Trump campaign would be outside the scope of a White House Chief of Staff.”