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Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and five other co-defendants named in the sweeping Georgia racketeering indictment reportedly pleaded not guilty Tuesday and waived their in-person arraignment set for tomorrow.
“I fully understand the nature of the offenses charged and my right to appear at arraignment,” Meadows wrote in the court filing reported by The Hill. “Understanding my rights, I do hereby freely and voluntarily waive my right to be present at my arraignment on the Indictment and my right to have it read to me in open court.”
Meadows and 18 other co-defendants are named in former President Donald Trump’s fourth indictment following a criminal investigation into the former president’s alleged efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 presidential election results.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis pursued charging the individuals under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, which allows prosecutors to connect various crimes committed by multiple defendants and argue that they were working together toward a criminal goal — and were, therefore, part of a “criminal enterprise.”
Trump has broadly denied any wrongdoing and has claimed politically motivated forces are targeting him in a “witch hunt” propagated by the Biden administration and Democrat prosecutors in New York and Georgia.
Attorney John Eastman, ex-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, Shawn Still, David Shafer, the former Georgia GOP chair, and Cathy Latham, a member of the Georgia Republican Party’s executive committee, also pleaded not guilty, according to ABC News.
Clark’s attorney reportedly said in a filing that the charges against his client were an “unconstitutional attempt, as to Mr. Clark, to penetrate into the sanctums of the superior federal government’s Justice Department, as well as of the Office of the President of the United States at the White House.”
“The Indictment is also an unconstitutional affront to the powers of the President, who is the sole head of the unitary executive branch,” Clark’s filing states.
Clark and Meadows are two of five defendants requesting to move their cases from state court into federal court.
All but one of the 19 defendants, including former President Donald Trump, named in the indictment have now pleaded not guilty in the case and waived their in-person arraignment.
According to reports, former Coffee County elections director Misty Hampton still has not entered a plea.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee set the date of September 6 for all 19 defendants to be arraigned on charges and enter their pleas in the case.