A move to the Northern District of Georgia could have provided Trump with a more conservative jury pool than he’s expected to receive from heavily Democratic Fulton County.
The notice came three weeks after Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, failed in his bid to move his case to federal court. In a 49-page ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones said Meadows did not meet the legal burden to remove his case out of Fulton. Meadows is appealing to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Four other defendants in the racketeering case — former U.S. Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark and three Trump electors — recently argued to transfer their cases. Jones has yet to rule.
Caren Morrison, an associate professor of law at Georgia State University, noted that Sadow had been in court for at least two of those removal hearings and likely concluded that his client’s chances of winning were slim. She also said that Trump probably would have had to testify, like Meadows, for him to have any chance of succeeding in showing he was acting as a federal official and not a candidate .
“That’s something I am sure he didn’t want to see happen,” Morrison said.
Morrison also said that the Trump team may have had the judges in mind. Jones was appointed to the bench by Democrat Barack Obama and has already ruled against Meadows. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee was named by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and, as student at the University of Georgia, led the college chapter of conservative The Federalist Society.
“I think he may just prefer Judge McAfee to Judge Jones,” she said.
-This is a developing story. Please return to ajc.com for updates.