Former President Donald Trump on Thursday formally notified the judge overseeing the Georgia election subversion case that he “may” try to move his state case into federal court.
Trump’s lawyers have previously said they would try to move the case, which could help him get the charges dropped by invoking immunity protections for federal officials.
“President Trump hereby notifies the Court that he may seek removal of his prosecution to federal court,” his lawyer Steven Sadow said in a brief court filing. “To be timely, his notice of removal must be filed within 30-days of his arraignment.”
The 30-day clock began on August 31, when Trump waived his right to an arraignment hearing and entered a not guilty plea.
There are several potential benefits for Trump if he can move the state case into federal court.
It would give him additional avenues to get the charges dropped if he can convince a judge that his alleged actions in the indictment were tied to his formal duties as a government official.
If the case stays in federal court, the jurors will all come from Fulton County, which President Joe Biden won by a 47-point margin. If the case moves to federal court, the jury pool will be culled from from a 10-county region near Atlanta that Biden won by 32 points, a narrower but still comfortable margin.
Several of Trump’s 19 co-defendants are already attempting to move their case to federal court.
His former chief of staff Mark Meadows testified at a hearing last week as part of his bid to move the case. Further hearings are scheduled for later this month on whether a federal judge will weigh similar requests from former Trump-era Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and other co-defendants.
This story has been updated with additional details.