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Trump Won't Try to Move GA Trial       09/29 06:15


   ATLANTA (AP) -- Former President Donald Trump will not seek to get his 
Georgia election interference case transferred to federal court, his attorneys 
said in a filing Thursday, three weeks after a judge rejected a similar attempt 
by the former president's White House chief of staff.

   The notice filed in federal court in Atlanta follows a Sept. 8 decision from 
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones that chief of staff Mark Meadows "has not met 
even the 'quite low' threshold" to move his case to federal court, saying the 
actions outlined in the indictment were not taken as part of Meadows' role as a 
federal official. Meadows is appealing that ruling.

   Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges, including an alleged violation 
of Georgia's anti-racketeering law, over his efforts to overturn the results of 
the 2020 election. He was indicted last month along with Meadows and 17 others.

   The notice, filed in state court in Atlanta by Trump's defense attorney, 
expressed confidence in how Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee 
will handle the trial, but may have also reflected the difficulties that other 
defendants have had in trying to move their cases to federal court.

   "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."

   If Trump had gotten his case moved to federal court, he could have tried to 
get the charges dismissed altogether on the grounds that federal officials have 
immunity from prosecution over actions taken as part of their official job 

   Trump, though, is still making arguments in the state court case that he 
can't be prosecuted because of his federal position. On Thursday, his lawyer 
filed a motion saying in part that Trump is immune from state prosecution for 
all the acts he took while president, and that Georgia's prosecution violates 
the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which says federal law overrides 
state law.

   A venue change also could have broadened the jury pool beyond overwhelmingly 
Democratic Fulton County and meant that a trial that would not be photographed 
or televised, as cameras are not allowed inside federal courtrooms. A venue 
change would not have meant that Trump -- if he's reelected in 2024 -- or 
another president would have been able to issue a pardon because any conviction 
would still happen under state law.

   Several other defendants -- three fake electors and former U.S. Justice 
Department official Jeffrey Clark -- are also seeking to move their cases to 
federal court. Jones has not yet ruled on those cases.

   Meadows testified as part of his bid to remove his case, although the others 
did not. Trump would not have been required to testify at his own hearing, but 
removal might have been difficult to win if he didn't take the stand. That 
would have given prosecutors a chance to question him under cross-examination, 
and anything he said could have be used in an eventual trial.

   Meadows had asked for the charges to be dismissed, saying the Constitution 
made him immune from prosecution for actions taken in his official duties as 
White House chief of staff.

   The judge ruled that the actions at the heart of prosecutors' charges 
against Meadows were taken on behalf of the Trump campaign "with an ultimate 
goal of affecting state election activities and procedures."

   Trump, who is facing three other criminal cases, has so far been been 
unsuccessful in seeking to have a state case in New York, alleging falsified 
business records in connection with a hush money payment to a porn actor, 
transferred to federal court. He asked a federal appeals court to reverse a 
judge's opinion keeping the case in state court.

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