Mark Meadows and Other Trump Allies Plead Not Guilty to Election Interference Charges
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and five other allies of former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of election interference in Georgia and they waived their in-person arraignment set for tomorrow.
“I fully understand the nature of the offenses charged and my right to appear at arraignment,” Meadows wrote in the court filing reported by The Hill. “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.”
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis pursued charging the individuals under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. This enables prosecutors to connect various crimes committed by multiple defendants and argue that they were working together toward a criminal goal and were part of a “criminal enterprise.”
The charges stem from an investigation by Willis focused on Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. Meadows is accused of contacting Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and urging him to “find” enough votes to overturn Trump’s loss in the state.
Attorney John Eastman, ex-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, Shawn Still, David Shafer, the former Georgia GOP chair, and Cathy Latham, a member of the Georgia Republican Party’s executive committee, also pleaded not guilty, according to ABC News.
Clark’s attorney reportedly said in a filing that the charges against his client were an “unconstitutional attempt, as to Mr. Clark, to penetrate into the sanctums of the superior federal government’s Justice Department, as well as of the Office of the President of the United States at the White House.”
“The Indictment is also an unconstitutional affront to the powers of the President, who is the sole head of the unitary executive branch,” Clark’s filing states.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee set the date of September 6 for all 19 defendants to be arraigned on charges and enter their pleas in the case.
All 19 defendants in the case over alleged efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results have now pleaded not guilty.https://t.co/9ZkQqSJNFw
— The Bias (@thebias_news) September 5, 2023