Political News

Georgia election hearing live updates: Meadows seeking to have case moved

Former President Trump Addresses  The Georgia State GOP Convention
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

(ATLANTA) — Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, charged along with 18 others in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ sweeping racketeering indictment for alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia, is in court Monday to try to have his trial moved from state to federal court.

Among other charges, the indictment cites Meadows’ role in the infamous Jan. 2, 2021, phone call then-President Donald Trump made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — actions that Meadows argues he took as a federal official acting “under color” of his office.

Latest headlines:
-Meadows: ‘I don’t know that I did anything that was outside of my role’
-Meadows describes ‘biggest surprise’ in indictment
-Meadows says his role was to be in almost every meeting Trump had
-Arraignments set for Sept. 6

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.

Aug 28, 2:02 PM EDT
Meadows says judge asked ‘insightful questions’

On direct examination, Mark Meadows’ testimony at one point became almost a one-on-one conversation between him and the judge, as they both swiveled their chairs to directly face each other.

The judge asked Meadows his own questions, including asking him for specific instances when he went out and got information.

They were “very insightful questions,” Meadows told the judge when he was finished.

Aug 28, 1:52 PM EDT
Meadows testifies about Raffensperger call

Mark Meadows said on the stand that he wasn’t sure whether the lawyers on then-President Donald Trump’s phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger were Trump’s personal attorneys or lawyers for the Trump campaign.

The prosecutor then asked Meadows if he didn’t know what roles they had then “why did you want them on the call?” At that moment the judge shook his head in seeming bewilderment.

Meadows said the purpose of the phone call was to find a “less litigious way” to resolve an issue regarding signature match in Fulton County, Georgia.

Repeatedly asked about how the call with Raffensperger came about, Meadows said he reached out to Raffensperger himself once and then reached out to a staff member of the secretary of state’s office, but he said neither of them answered and he does not recall how the call was eventually facilitated.

He said Trump himself asked to reach out to Raffensperger.

Asked about his conversations with Cleta Mitchell, one of the three lawyers involved in the call, Meadows said he spoke with her about a variety of aspects related to Georgia and alleged election fraud but said he doesn’t recall the specifics.

ABC News’ Nadine El-Bawab, Will Steakin and Soorin Kim

Aug 28, 1:22 PM EDT
Meadows: ‘I don’t know that I did anything that was outside of my role’

Court is in a brief recess after Mark Meadows testified for nearly three hours without breaks.

On the stand, Meadows firmly stood by his actions — including observing the audit in Cobb County, Georgia, and setting up then-President Donald Trump’s call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — putting it squarely as part of his role as chief of staff.

“I don’t know that I did anything that was outside of my role as chief of staff,” Meadows testified.

“I saw it as part of my role,” Meadows said. “The president gave clear direction to deal with it.”

Meadows said serving Trump “takes on all kinds of forms” and that much of the work had a “political component to certainly everything.”

Meadows was careful with his words, at one point saying he didn’t want to say anything incorrectly, while joking, “I’m in enough trouble as it is.”

Attorneys for Trump were seated in the second row as Meadows testified.

ABC News’ Mike Levine, Aaron Katersky and Will Steakin

Aug 28, 1:06 PM EDT
Meadows asked about text to Georgia Secretary of State chief investigator

The state pressured former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about a text Meadows sent to Georgia Secretary of State chief investigator Frances Watson that read: “Is there any way to speed up Fulton County signature verdicts in order to have results before Jan. 6 if Trump campaign assist financially?”

Meadows claimed he was in a unique relationship, acting as chief of staff but not offering federal funds.

When prosecutors asked why he was making a financial offer, Meadows claimed he was trying to ask if the speed of counting was due to an overtime issue or financial constraint.

ABC News’ Danielle Jennings, Riley Hoffman and Will Steakin


Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.