December 2023

Mark Meadows’s Lawyer Pressed on Bid to Move Georgia Election Case to Federal Court

A lawyer for Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff under former President Donald J. Trump, faced tough questions from a panel of judges on Friday as Mr. Meadows renewed his bid to move a Georgia election interference case from state court to federal court.

The panel of three appeals court judges heard brief oral arguments from a Georgia prosecutor and a lawyer for Mr. Meadows over the jurisdiction of the case, in which Mr. Meadows is accused of working with a group of people to overturn Mr. Trump’s 2020 election loss in the state.

The judges asked sharp questions of both sides but seemed particularly skeptical of the arguments advanced by Mr. Meadows, who claims that the allegations against him concern actions he took as a federal officer and thus should be dealt with in federal court.

Moving the case to federal court would give Mr. Meadows advantages, including a jury pool drawn from a wider geographic area with moderately more support for Mr. Trump. But in September, a federal judge sided with the prosecutors, writing that Mr. Meadows’s conduct, as outlined in the indictment, was “not related to his role as White House chief of staff or his executive branch authority.”

Mr. Meadows appealed that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, where the three-judge panel — consisting of two Democrat-appointed judges and one Republican-appointed judge — peppered lawyers with questions on Friday in an ornate courtroom in downtown Atlanta.

In her questioning of Mr. Meadows’s lawyer, Judge Nancy Abudu, an appointee of President Biden, said that Mr. Meadows’s own testimony, in August, had seemed to broadly define what actions were part of his official duties as chief of staff.

“The testimony that was provided essentially didn’t provide any outer limits to what

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SC lawmakers push for judicial reform to curb influence by lawyer-legislators

As South Carolina lawmakers continue discussions about how judges are elected and who should or shouldn’t be a part of that process, some lawmakers are already pushing for changes to eliminate the perception judges are beholden to legislators.

In the lead up to the 2024 legislative session one lawmaker wants lawyer-legislators to recuse themselves during judicial elections, while others wish to remove the limit of how many judicial candidates the General Assembly could consider in an election, and to keep lawmakers’ relatives from seeking the bench.

While some officials in South Carolina are calling for lawyer-legislators to be removed from the Judicial Merit Selection Commission — a 10-member body charged with considering judicial candidates’ qualifications — state Sen. Mia McLeod, I-Richland, pre-filed a bill — S. 871 — that would require all legislators, who actively practice law in the Palmetto State, to recuse themselves from voting in judicial elections, a key function of the General Assembly.

McLeod also sponsored a measure — S. 872 — to remove the three-judicial-candidate cap the JMSC follows when it submits qualified candidates to the General Assembly.

This is not the first time McLeod has offered these bills and she said they’re even more timely now amid an ongoing debate over how much control lawyer-legislators should have in selecting judges.

“The lawyer-legislators are typically the ones who don’t want reform because they don’t want to lose that control,” McLeod said. “They have (control) and they know they have it.”

McLeod added that her colleagues are unwilling to relinquish their control over the judiciary because “it’s hard for the public to prove that they have it.”

In addition to requiring that lawyer-legislators not be permitted to vote in judicial elections, McLeod’s bill, S. 871, aims to limit the potential for discrimination by mandating the JMSC

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Trump lawyer blasts Jack Smith’s urgency for ruling in immunity case: ‘It’s un-American’

Alina Habba, a lawyer for former President Trump, blasted special counsel Jack Smith for his urgency in asking the Supreme Court to take up Trump’s federal 2020 election criminal case and weigh in on his immunity defense.

“There is some sort of real sense of urgency,” Habba said in an interview highlighted by Mediaite. “The only urgency that I can see is that there is an election in November 2024 and they can’t beat him.”

Trump has attempted to toss the case by arguing that he has presidential immunity from the indictment that accuses him of entering criminal conspiracies to change the 2020 presidential election results.

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Smith has argued that the nation’s highest court should take up the issue before the D.C. Circuit issues its ruling, citing Trump’s fast-approaching March 4 trial date.

The Supreme Court agreed to expedite Trump’s deadline, ordering him to respond by Dec. 20. They will then decide if they are going to take the case.

Habba said “everyone can see” what Smith is doing and said it “is election interference at its finest.”

“They can’t beat him in the ballots so they’re gonna have to either, you know, lie, cheat, steal or the newest, is lawfare, put him in jail, tie him up,” she told Fox Business Network’s Larry Kudlow.

Kudlow suggested that since Trump would have to sit in trial every day for the case, they don’t want him on the campaign trail.

Habba agreed and said, “It’s actually playing against them.”

“He’s getting a lot of voters that he normally wouldn’t get because they’re seeing this and he is the victim of, all of a sudden they’ve made him a victim of complete and utter election interference and lawfare,”

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Two-state solution would mean relocating 200,000 settlers, says Israeli lawyer who has David Cameron’s ear | Israel

Nearly 200,000 of the 700,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank would have to be relocated to Israel to create a viable Palestinian state, according to an Israeli lawyer from whom the UK foreign secretary, Lord Cameron, has sought advice on his visits to Israel.

Cameron has said he realises reaching a two-state solution would be tough, but he has not spelled out the practical consequences in terms of borders, including the need to persuade so many Israelis to relocate.

Cameron acknowledged his debt to Daniel Seidemann in giving evidence to a Lords select committee last week, saying he always seeks his advice when he visits Jerusalem.

In an interview with the Guardian, Seidemann said: “If Israel has the will, or capacity, to relocate 200,000 settlers from the West Bank and Jerusalem, a two-state solution is a viable option. If it does not have the will, the two-state solution is dead. The number might be better than most people think, but it is quite daunting.

“If you can annex incrementally, you can deoccupy incrementally.”

The remaining settlers would remain on land swapped between Israel and Palestine. Leaving settlers under Palestinian sovereignty would be unacceptable to both sides, he says.

Cameron first met Seidemann in 2007 when he was Conservative opposition leader and they often went up to the Mount of Olives to look across to the West Bank, home to large Israeli settlements such as Ma’ale Adumim, a city of 40,000.

Although Cameron, a strong supporter of Israel, takes advice on Israel from many sources, his repeated conversations with Seidemann shows his willingness to take a range of guidance, and his regard for the 70-year-old lawyer’s knowledge of the geographical mechanics of the occupation.

When they first met, Seidemann calculated that only 100,000 Israelis would need to be relocated. He

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