Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows pleaded not guilty to charges in the Georgia 2020 election case and waived his scheduled Wednesday arraignment, according to court documents posted Tuesday.
Meadows, one of former President Donald Trump’s 18 co-defendants, faces two charges: violating Georgia’s “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations” (RICO) Act and Solicitation of Violation of Oath by a Public Officer. He is currently trying to move his case to federal court, arguing that the charges took place while he was serving as Chief of Staff.
“I fully understand the nature of the offenses charged and my right to appear at arraignment,” the court filing states. “Understanding my rights, I do hereby freely and voluntarily waive my right to be present at my arraignment on the Indictment and my right to have it read to me in open court.”
Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee said defendants could waive their arraignment within 48 hours of the date, according to The Hill. Meadow’s filing is timestamped at 10:45, after the deadline.
Misty Hampton, former Coffee County election official, has not yet entered a plea, according to The Hill. (RELATED: ‘Biggest Surprise’: Mark Meadows Disputes Key Part Of Georgia Indictment During Hearing)
Attorney John Eastman, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, former Coffee County GOP Chair Cathy Latham, Georgia state Sen. Shawn Still and former Georgia GOP Chair David Shafer have also entered “not guilty” pleas, according to CNN.
Last Monday, Meadows testified during a hearing on moving his case, where he denied a key aspect of the indictment, ABC News reported. Meadows said he had “zero recollection” of the indictment’s description of him directing an aide to draft a memo on “disrupting and delaying” the January 6 Joint Session of Congress, stating that the event “didn’t happen.”
Several other co-defendants, including Clark and Shafer, are seeking to move their cases to federal court, which would provide a larger jury pool and different judge. Cornell Law School Professor William A. Jacobson previously told the DCNF that hearing the case in federal court would “add some distance from Fulton county politics.”
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