Trump aide’s 2020 election case to remain in Georgia court -US appeals court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A U.S. appeals court on Monday rejected an effort by Donald Trump’s former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to move his Georgia 2020 election interference case to federal court, upholding a prior court ruling.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that Meadows was not entitled to move the case because Meadows is no longer a federal officer and the charges relate to conduct that was not part of his official responsibilities.

Meadows was indicted in Georgia state court as part of a sweeping racketeering case accusing the Republican former U.S. president and several of his allies of attempting to reverse Trump’s defeat in the state. Meadows has pleaded not guilty.

Meadows, who served as Trump’s final White House chief of staff, argued that he was entitled to be tried in federal court under a U.S. law that allows federal officials to move cases that relate to their official duties. A federal judge rejected that argument in September, prompting Meadows to appeal.

A lawyer for Meadows did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is prosecuting the case, also did not respond.

Meadows can appeal the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Meadows could have faced a friendlier jury pool in federal court, which draws from a larger and more politically diverse area than Fulton County, Georgia, the Democratic stronghold where the case was filed.

Moving to federal court also would have let Meadows argue that he is immune from state prosecution because he was carrying out his duties as a federal official.

Meadows is accused of arranging calls and meetings in which prosecutors have said Trump pressured election officials to change the vote count in his favor, including a call in which the then-president urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to deliver him the state, which Biden won.

(Reporting by Andrew Goudsward; Editing by Scott Malone and Deepa Babington)