“​Mark Meadows’s Testimony in Georgia Case May Have Done Him No Favors”


At issue was whether his actions — as described in the indictment of Mr. Trump, Mr. Meadows and 17 others in Fulton County, Ga., last month — could be considered within the scope of his duties as White House chief of staff. Mr. Meadows made the case for that under questioning by his lawyer, but he hit a snag when a prosecutor asked whether he had “any role” in coordinating the bogus electors who were used in a last-ditch effort to keep Mr. Trump in power after he lost the 2020 election.

“No, I did not,” he replied.

The prosecutor then introduced into the record a December 2020 email that Mr. Meadows wrote to a Trump campaign staff member. In it, Mr. Meadows wrote, “We just need to have someone coordinating the electors for the states.”

The exchange, which prosecutors will almost certainly use against Mr. Meadows at trial, underscored the high-stakes gamble that he took by testifying. So far, the gamble has not paid off: In early September, U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones declined to move his case to federal court.

Mr. Meadows has appealed. But his testimony may have given ammunition to Georgia prosecutors as they prepare to try him, Mr. Trump and the 17 other defendants. Legal experts say that Mr. Meadows may have damaged his credibility while weakening his claim to immunity from state prosecution as a federal official, given his struggles to articulate how the actions ascribed to him in the indictment were part of his official duties rather than in service of the Trump campaign.

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