What does it mean to be ‘speshal’? In the Aussie vernacular, it’s a sarcastic reference to someone who just can’t believe they’re being held accountable for whatever they did. They’re convinced it can’t possibly apply to them because it couldn’t have been a crime if they were just doing their job. They were so dutiful and conscientious; in fact, they deserve a medal for their upstanding devotion to serving their leader, not an indictment.
That’s Mark Meadows’ defense in a nutshell: he’s too speshal to be indicted. To his mind, such as it is, it’s all some horrible mistake. He was just doing his job – well, maybe not the job per se if you want to split hairs on the subject of actual job descriptions – but he was doing what was expected of him.
What the people expected of him? No no! You’re not understanding the trepidatious tenuity of the situation, like the need for absolute fealty to the leader first and foremost.
Of course, we’re all aware that Mark’s leader was the Criminal-in-Chief and it’s hard to credit that Meadows could claim to be so innocent, so utterly gullible, that he was blind to the legal jeopardy enveloping him from the moment he accepted the position as White House Chief of Staff. He seems to believe that the position alone inoculates him from all legal consequences.
Yet there was a foolish naïvety to Meadows’ decision to leave Congress. He gave up a safe, House seat after working his way up to Chairman of the Freedom Caucus, just one step away from a committee chairmanship as soon as Rs gerrymandered their way back into the majority which they did at the very next election after he left.
How must he feel when he sees Jimmy Gym Jordan, fellow former Freedom Caucus Chairman now in the Chair of the Judiciary Committee and the ever so speshal insurrection protection committee while he, Mark Meadows, is out of a job, unemployable and indicted? It’s lucky he managed to insider-trade his way into a comfortable retirement – or it would be if it wasn’t for all this unfair indictment stress. Now he has to plunder his nest egg to pay for a good lawyer and he knows he needs a really good lawyer.
The legal peril has escalated rapidly. DA Fani Willis set a deadline of 12:30pm on Friday, August 25 for all the defendants to turn themselves in for booking at the Fulton County Jail but Mark doesn’t want to go. He doesn’t want to be arrested. He’s speshal. So he went to the federal judiciary. Per Axios, August 22:
I’m sure you can see the problem – August 28 is three days after DA Willis’s deadline. Mark needed an extension on that deadline, fast! Now! His lawyer dispatched a letter to the Fulton County DA’s office. In his Substack, everyone is entitled to my own opinion, the inimitable Jeff Tiedrich described the probable content of that all-important letter:
Meadows’s lawyer drafted a letter to Willis explaining the whole ‘crimes aren’t really crimes’ thing and please excuse my client, because he thinks this whole thing is bullshit and he really doesn’t want to come to Atlanta right now and you won’t mind if he doesn’t show up until maybe next week, will you?
But DA Willis rejected his request for an extension.
The attorney then asked the federal court to issue an order barring the Fulton County District Attorney from arresting Meadows this week. It’s a
bold move desperate gambit and unlikely to succeed given the seriousness of the charges. As former Trump administration staffer Alyssa Farrah Griffin noted:
…there’s a specific line in the Georgia indictment where it talks about Meadows actually offering money to speed up a recount,” Griffin added. “That was going to come from the Trump campaign. I don’t know how you could possibly legally say that he was doing that in his official White House Chief of Staff duty.”
As Neil Katyal explains so succinctly, this is the crux of his dilemma.
Unfortunately for Mark Meadows' motion, I haven't been able to find the federal law or constitutional provision that made interfering in a lawful election a part of his job in the White House.
— Neal Katyal (@neal_katyal) August 22, 2023
The federal court declined Meadows’ request for DA Willis to be barred from arresting him which left him with two options: stubbornly refuse to go to Georgia and become a wanted man by 12:31 Friday afternoon, or get there well before the Criminal-in-Chief arrives (because he’s the last person Mark wants to see) and get the whole wretched thing over and done with as quickly as possible. He chose the latter.
He has now been booked, fingerprinted and photographed, all of which he’d wanted to avoid but couldn’t. So you see, you may be speshal, Mark, but you are not special. You felonied around and now you’re finding out. It’s called justice.