FILE - Then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Oct. 21, 2020, in Washington. Meadows is trying to avoid having to testify before a Georgia special grand jury that's investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to influence the state's 2020 election. A lawyer for Meadows on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022, argued in a court filing in South Carolina that Meadows shouldn't have to go to Atlanta to testify. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

U.S. Federal Judge Steven Jones on Friday rejected former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ bid to move his Georgia criminal case to federal court. This is a significant setback for Meadows and could be a distressing sign for former President Donald Trump.

Meadows’ appeals are likely headed to the 11th U.S. Circuit of Appeals. For now, Meadows’s trial will be conducted in Fulton County Superior Court. If for nothing else, October 23rd trial start date will feature Trump attorneys Ken Chesebro and Sidney Powell.

Judge Jones says Meadows was acting as a political operative for Trump while in his role as the White House chief of staff, a violation of the Hatch Act.

Here is a copy of Judge Steven Jones ruling.

Meadows is charged with violation of the Georgia RICO Act and solicitation of violation of oath by a public officer for his involvement in Trump’s Jan. 2, 2021, call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger encouraging him to “find” the exact number of votes needed to defeat Biden. He’s pleaded not guilty.

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...