Former President Donald Trump’s legal team is reportedly considering a move to have his case taken out of the hands of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
According to The Epoch Times, one defendant in the case has already requested that it be transferred from the county court to a federal court, and it seems highly likely that Trump’s team will pursue similar action.
“Ms. Willis’ case may face at least one legal hurdle in the form of a federal law that allows individuals who were federal officeholders at the time of an alleged criminal act to have the case go before a federal court,” the report said.
“Mark Meadows, who was also charged in the Georgia case and who was the White House chief of staff at the time, has already filed to have his case moved to federal court, and numerous legal experts have suggested President Trump might do the same,” the report continued.
“Moving the case from the Fulton County Superior Court to the local federal court could alter the dynamics of the trial and prove advantageous to President Trump in the long run,” the report added.
As the former president seeks to reclaim his position in 2024, there is speculation that he may seek to grant himself a pardon for any federal offenses.
However, it is important to note that the authority to do so does not extend into state-level jurisdictions. Trump’s attorney Alina Habba has even commented on this possibility, saying that Willis deliberately brought her indictment “so that if [Trump] is president, he can’t pardon himself if he’s convicted.”
Paul Kamenar, an established legal scholar, further emphasizes this point by noting that transferring the case to a federal court would create an additional level of complexity and require two separate trials – one in state court and another before a federal judge.
So, I mean, this is going to be a circus. It’s totally unwieldy,” Kamenar told The Epoch Times.
Another Trump lawyer, Christina Bobb, said she believes the former president will ultimately file to move the case to a federal court.
“I think they probably will. I mean, that’ll be a decision the trial team makes, but I would expect them to do the same thing. And I would expect it to get removed,” Bobb said. “This case is properly venued in federal court, to the extent it’s proper at all.”
The outlet noted further:
The 41-count indictment includes 13 charges against President Trump and additional charges for at least 18 alleged co-conspirators.
In addition to the RICO violation, the former president faces another three counts of solicitation of a violation of oath by a public officer, two counts of conspiracy to commit forgery in the first degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit filing of false documents, two counts of conspiracy to commit false statements and writings, two counts of committing false statements and writings, and one count of conspiracy to commit impersonating a public officer.
The indictment also alleges the RICO conspiracy operated at times in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.
“The fact that you’ve got a little district attorney in one county that’s only part of Atlanta, doesn’t even cover the whole city, is bringing claims for racketeering in Arizona and Pennsylvania and Michigan, and she’s just greatly enlarged her jurisdiction by claiming racketeering. I think it’s quite outrageous,” Bobb said.
She also took umbrage at the list of alleged co-conspirators charged by Willis, which include Trump’s lawyers, legal advisers, and even members of the Georgia Republican Party.
“The fact that she specifically indicted the head of the GOP for Georgia, as well as all of the president’s attorneys, she’s effectively turned the Republican Party into a criminal organization, according to her. So she’s blatantly criminalized political opposition,” Bobb said.