ATLANTA (AP) — Rudy Giuliani will appear in an Atlanta courtroom to testify before a special grand jury investigating attempts by former President Donald Trump and others to reverse his 2020 election loss in Georgia.
It is unclear how much the former New York mayor and attorney for Triumph will be willing to say now that his lawyers have been informed he is a target of the investigation. The questioning will take place behind closed doors on Wednesday because special grand jury proceedings are secret.
Giuliani’s appearance, however, is yet another high-profile step in a rapidly escalating investigation that has ensnared several Trump allies and prompted further scrutiny of desperate and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory in 2020. is one of various investigations on Trump’s actions in office as he lays the groundwork for another White House run in 2024.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has opened her investigation after the revelation of a notable January 2, 2021 phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. On the call, Trump suggested that Raffensperger could “find” the exact number of votes it would take to change the election results in Georgia.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing. He has described the call as “seamless”.
Willis last month filed petitions demanding testimony from seven Trump associates and advisers. He also said he is considering calling Trump himself to testify, and the former president has hired a legal team in Atlanta that includes a prominent criminal defense attorney.
In seeking Giuliani’s testimony, Willis noted that he was both Trump’s personal attorney and the lead attorney for his 2020 campaign.
she remembered in a petition how Giuliani and others appeared at a state Senate committee meeting in late 2020 and presented a video that Giuliani claimed showed poll workers producing “suitcases” of illegal ballots from unknown sources, out of sight of poll watchers . The fraud allegations were debunked by Georgia election officials within 24 hours. However, Giuliani continued to make statements to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings alleging widespread voter fraud using the discredited video, Willis noted in his presentation.
Two of the poll workers seen in the video, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, said they faced relentless harassment online and in person after it was shown at the December 3 Georgia legislative hearing at which Giuliani appeared. At another hearing a week later, Giuliani said the footage showed the women “sneaking through USB ports like they were vials of heroin or cocaine.” They were actually passing out candy.
Willis wrote in the court filing that Giuliani’s hearing and testimony were “part of a coordinated multi-state plan by the Trump campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”
Willis also wrote in a petition looking for testimony of attorney Kenneth Chesebro who worked with Giuliani to coordinate and carry out a scheme for Georgia Republicans to serve as bogus voters. Those 16 people signed a certificate falsely stating that Trump had won the 2020 presidential election and declaring themselves the “duly chosen and qualified” electors of the state even though Biden had won the state and a list of Democratic electors was certified.
giuliani’s lawyers tried to delay his special grand jury appearance, saying he was unable to fly due to heart stent surgery in early July.
But Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversees the special grand jury, said during a hearing last week that Giuliani needed to be in Atlanta on Wednesday and could travel by bus, car or train if necessary. .
Other Trump allies have also been drawn into the investigation. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, was served with a subpoena ordering him to appear to testify on August 23. Graham contested that subpoena, citing his protections as a member of Congress. A judge on Monday rejected that argument, saying he must testify. Graham has said he will appeal.
Willis has indicated that she is interested in the calls between Graham and Raffensberger. about the results in Georgia in the weeks after the election.
More on the investigations related to Donald Trump: https://apnews.com/hub/donald-trump
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