Sept. 8 (UPI) -- A federal judge on Friday denied former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows' request to move his Georgia election-interference case from state court to federal court.
U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones issued the ruling after conducting a hearing on the matter in Atlanta federal court last week in which he considered five hours of testimony from Meadows.
Jones ruled that Meadows' alleged involvement in the former president's attempt to overturn the 2020 election was not part of his official duties as a federal government official.
"The court finds that the color of the Office of the White House Chief of Staff did not include working with or working for the Trump campaign, except for simply coordinating the president's schedule, traveling with the president to his campaign events, and redirecting communications to the campaign," Jones said in his ruling Friday.
"The state concedes that at the time of the events alleged in the indictment, Meadows was a federal officer and his role was the White House Chief of Staff," Jones wrote.
"Thus, the court must next evaluate the second question of whether the acts in the indictment relate to his role as White House Chief of Staff," Jones continued.
"In sum, to establish a RICO conspiracy, the state only need prove that any co-conspirator committed one overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, whether the overt act was specifically charged in the indictment or not," Jones continued.
Meadows is charged with soliciting an official to violate their oath of office and is also accused of violating the federal Hatch Act, which prohibits officials from using their government status to influence an election.
"These prohibitions on executive branch employees (including the White House Chief of Staff) reinforce the court's conclusion that Meadows has not shown how his actions relate to the scope of his federal executive branch office," Jones said.
Jones also noted in his ruling that the judgment on Meadows' case doesn't mean the other co-defendants can't move their cases from state court to federal court.