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Mark Meadows, John Eastman and Jeffrey Clark plead not guilty in Georgia election interference case

The trio joined Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and others in submitting written not guilty pleas and waiving their appearances at a Wednesday arraignment.
Mark Meadows at the White House
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the Georgia election case. Al Drago / Reuters file

ATLANTA — Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark and Trump attorney John Eastman have all pleaded not guilty to racketeering charges in the Georgia election interference case, court filings show.

Meadows and Eastman filed their not guilty pleas Tuesday, while Clark's plea was entered late Friday, the filings show. The three also waived their arraignments, which had been scheduled for Wednesday.

Three more of the 19 defendants in the sprawling case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis have also pleaded not guilty — former Coffee County GOP chair Cathy Latham on Tuesday and alleged fake electors Shawn Still and David Shafer on Monday.

Willis has accused all 19 of racketeering, alleging they took part in schemes designed to overturn Joe Biden's 2020 election win in Georgia and name Donald Trump the victor.

The new filings mean all the defendants have now pleaded not guilty and waived their arraignments — a group that includes the former president and his former lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell.

The large number of defendants has already led to scheduling issues.

Meadows and Clark are among the defendants trying to get their cases moved to federal court. Eastman filed a separate motion in Fulton County Superior Court seeking to sever his case from those seeking a speedy trial, saying he needs more time to prepare his case.

Trump filed a similar motion last week.

The state judge hearing the case, Scott McAfee, said in a ruling last week that he will sort out trial dates after the arraignment process is completed.

Later Tuesday, McAfee scheduled a hearing for Wednesday about filings from Powell and another attorney charged in the case, Kenneth Chesebro, on their motions to sever. He said he plans to ask prosecutors at the hearing for a "good-faith estimate of the time reasonably anticipated to present the State’s case during a joint trial of all 19 co-defendants, and alternatively any divisions thereof, including the number of witnesses likely to be called and the number and size of exhibits likely to be introduced."

Charlie Gile reported from Atlanta and Dareh Gregorian from New York.