Former President Donald Trump's defense could try to move the election case in Fulton County, Georgia, to federal court in search of a less politically hostile jury.
"President Trump hereby notifies the court that he may request the transfer of his prosecution to federal court," Steven Sadow, Trump's attorney, wrote in a one-page court filing.
The legal move could favor the former president because in federal court he could face a more politically diverse jury than in Fulton County, the Democratic stronghold of Atlanta.
Trump is accused of plotting to overturn his defeat in the 2020 U.S. election by pressuring state election officials. The former president has denied all allegations against him not only in this case but in all the legal battles he faces at the federal and state level.
In addition to the former president, the election case in Georgia involves 18 other co-defendants, and several of them have filed petitions to move their cases to a federal court since they were indicted last month.
The investigation into the case is led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has been criticized for being politically motivated.
Moving the case to federal courts would not only potentially benefit the former president in jury selection, but would allow his defense "to argue that he is immune from prosecution for actions he took as part of his official duties as president," Reuters reported.
However, it is still too early to know whether or not the trial will be moved to federal court, as U.S. District Judge Steve Jones is expected to rule on the petitions in a few weeks.
What is clear is that a transfer of the election case to a federal court would further complicate the Fulton County District Attorney's office's aspirations, which already has an ambitious goal of prosecuting 19 defendants.