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A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a bid by former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to move his criminal election interference trial from Georgia state court to federal court.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a prior federal district court ruling rejecting the transfer of the case against Meadows from Fulton County Superior Court.

Meadows is charged in Georgia with criminally conspiring with Donald Trump and others to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in the state’s 2020 election.

Monday’s decision by a three-judge federal appeals panel in Atlanta came days after Meadows’ lawyers had argued for the transfer at a hearing.

The panel said that a law protecting an officer of the United States from having to answer for his official conduct in state court “does not apply to former officers” such as Meadows.

And even if Meadows was an “officer” of the United States by being Trump’s White House chief of staff at the time of the charged crimes, “his participation in an alleged conspiracy to overturn a presidential election was not related to his official duties,” the panel said in its 47-page opinion.

Meadows has pleaded not guilty in the case, where he, Trump, and 17 other people were indicted earlier this year.

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