Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), who was Trump’s pick in this year’s Republican primary for the position of Secretary of State in Georgia, was subpoenaed as part of the sprawling criminal investigation by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis into attempts by Trump and others to undercut Georgia’s 2020 presidential election outcome.
In that GOP primary, Hice ran against incumbent Brad Raffensperger, who drew ire from Trump after refusing to go along with the now former president’s attempts to subvert the election. A phone conversation between Trump and Raffensperger in which the then-president pushed for Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to flip the state from Biden was one of the original sparks for Willis’s investigation. Now, other apparent targets of Willis’s inquiry include advocacy to Raffensperger by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), testimony to Georgia state legislators by Trump allies including Rudy Giuliani, and the Georgia arm of the multi-state scheme to assemble faked electoral votes for Trump. Hice lost to Raffensperger by almost 20 percent, mirroring the colossal loss in the Georgia GOP primary race for Georgia’s governorship in which Trump pick David Perdue lost by almost 52 percent.
Hice is apparently challenging the subpoena and wants the issue dealt with in federal court. The northern Georgia jurisdiction in which Hice seemingly wants his case heard is significantly more conservative than Fulton County, suggesting — although not confirming — there are political concerns rather than purely legal considerations behind Hice’s push. In the aftermath of the 2020 election, Hice was one of the GOP members of Congress who participated in a December 21, 2020, meeting with Trump at the White House where those involved discussed the theories from Trump goon John Eastman by which Mike Pence could supposedly block the certification in Congress of Biden’s victory. The precise info Willis wanted to cover with Hice wasn’t immediately clear. She’s subpoenaed other Trump allies including Giuliani, Eastman, and Graham, and the list continues from there. Graham indicated he wouldn’t be testifying without a fight, and his challenge doesn’t seem completely resolved as of this point.
Other Republican members of Congress apparently involved in the December 21 meeting with Trump include Matt Gaetz and Louie Gohmert. Pence didn’t possess the legally recognized power to block the Congressional certification of the election outcome. Hice was served with his subpoena on June 29, and it demanded his testimony on July 19. Raffensperger already testified as part of Willis’s investigation, and the district attorney informed top Republicans in the state including the state GOP chairman they could be criminally charged. Those who received such notices were involved in some way in the Georgia scheme to assemble fake electoral votes for Trump despite Biden’s win. Claimed justifications include the idea the fake electoral votes simply kept Trump’s legal options open in the event litigation turned out in his favor — but providing an excuse for creating and transmitting false documents on the basis of false claims about the election doesn’t magically make such a thing unworthy of further scrutiny.