Longtime Trump ally Rudy Giuliani was ordered on Tuesday to soon appear for questioning before a special grand jury in Georgia working on Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s investigation into pro-Trump election meddling in the state.
Giuliani was originally scheduled for testimony this Tuesday, but his legal team argued against him traveling from New York to Georgia to appear before the grand jury, at least for now, because of his condition after a recent medical procedure. Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney evidently concluded arguments from Giuliani’s corner weren’t enough to mean the former mayor could evade the need for traveling to Georgia at all. One of the issues involving Giuliani under investigation by Willis and her team is his repeated promotion of lies about the last presidential election to state legislators in Georgia. Giuliani was also involved in assembling false slates of electors votes for Trump in states Biden won, including Georgia, and that fake electoral votes scheme is of particular interest to Willis (and the U.S. Justice Department).
Individuals who served as fake electors for Trump from Georgia were recently informed they’re now classified as targets of Willis’s investigation, meaning criminal charges are possible. In addition, Georgia state House Speaker Rep. David Ralston (R) previously revealed he received a phone call from Giuliani after the 2020 presidential race, a time period in which Rudy and others were essentially crisscrossing the country to try pressuring local and state officials into taking action to alter the election outcome in Trump’s favor. Ralston already sat for grand jury questioning. Bill Thomas, an attorney for Giuliani in the dispute over his Georgia testimony, pointed to suggestions from Rudy’s team for the Trump ally to answer questions virtually, meet with prosecutors closer to his residence, or wait until a later point when he can receive medical clearance for air travel.
“We just want a reasonable accommodation so a 78-year-old who has health conditions can get here, satisfy the directives from a New York court and this court,” Thomas said. “That’s plenty of time to make the trip, a 13-hour drive,” McBurney said of directing Giuliani to appear for testimony on August 17. “New York is not close to Atlanta, but it’s not traveling from Fairbanks.” It’s unclear at this point whether Rudy himself is a target of the Willis investigation. Although he’s ostensibly willing to eventually appear for testimony, Giuliani may still invoke multiple privileges in his grand jury questioning. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was also subpoenaed for testimony in the Willis investigation, and he’s pushing back on that demand for him to answer questions, with a hearing dealing with his subpoena scheduled for Wednesday. Graham is facing scrutiny for communications with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which he evidently pushed the notion of dumping entire counties’ tranches of mail-in ballots from 2020’s elections.