The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Mark Meadows struggles to distance himself from Trump’s plot

Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows walks out of court in Atlanta on Monday. (Dustin Chambers/Reuters)
6 min

The many prosecutions involving former president Donald Trump effectively began in earnest Monday — and with a bang. Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows opted to take the stand in Georgia with a bold and perhaps questionable argument: that he was simply playing White House traffic cop.

The issue at hand was whether Meadows could get his own prosecution, which is currently tied to Trump’s and that of 17 other defendants, “removed” from Fulton County into federal court by arguing that he was acting as a federal official. Meadows and his lawyers clearly calculated that his testimony — which defendants are usually advised to avoid giving — was necessary to succeed on that all-important question, which could have implications for other defendants.

But the testimony also meant we got a taste of the case ahead in Georgia.

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