Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, told a judge he believed his actions regarding the 2020 election fell within the scope of his job as a federal official.
A battle over whether to move the Georgia racketeering case against Donald J. Trump and his allies to federal court began in earnest on Monday, when Mark Meadows, a former White House chief of staff, testified in favor of such a move before a federal judge in Atlanta.
Under questioning by his own lawyers and by prosecutors, Mr. Meadows stated emphatically that he believed that his actions detailed in the indictment fell within the scope of his duties as chief of staff. But he also appeared unsure of himself at times, saying often that he could not recall details of events in late 2020 and early 2021. “My wife will tell you sometimes that I forget to take out the trash,” he told Judge Steve C. Jones of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
At another point during the daylong hearing, he asked whether he was properly complying with the judge’s instructions, saying, “I’m in enough trouble as it is.”
The effort to shift the case to federal court is the first major legal fight since the indictment of Mr. Trump, Mr. Meadows and 17 others was filed by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga. The indictment charges Mr. Trump and his allies with interfering in the 2020 presidential election in the state. Mr. Meadows is one of several defendants who are trying to move the case; any ruling on the issue could apply to all 19 defendants.
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