Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows pled not guilty in the massive Fulton County racketeering indictment on Tuesday, waiving an in-person arraignment. Meadows’ plea was submitted alongside those of six other co-defendants, all of them associates of former President Donald Trump indicted for their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state of Georgia.
“I fully understand the nature of the offenses charged and my right to appear at arraignment,” Meadows wrote in court filings. “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 co-defendants, including former President Trump, were indicted by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on August 14. The indictment charged Trump and his associates with 41 felony counts, including violating the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, in their efforts to challenge the 2020 election results.
As Valuetainment reported at the time, Willis alleges that in the weeks after the 2020 election, Trump knowingly pushed the false narrative that he had won and pressured Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to disregard the legitimate results. The other defendants, made up of Trump’s lawyers, GOP officials, and the slate of alternative electors appointed to challenge the election, are accused of taking part in a criminal conspiracy alongside the former president.
Alongside Mark Meadows, ex-DOJ official Jeffrey Clark, attorney John Eastman, former Georgia GOP chair David Shafer, former Coffee County elections director Misty Hampton, Georgia state Sen. Shawn Still, and former Coffee County GOP chair Cathleen Latham also pled not guilty on Tuesday.
With these six pleas entered, all 19 defendants have pled not guilty to the charges. Last week, Trump submitted his own plea, maintaining his innocence and calling the prosecution a “political witch hunt.”
Following the plea filings, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to determine whether all defendants should be tried together.