The attorney, Robert Costello, said that as part of their efforts to coerce Giuliani’s testimony, Georgia prosecutors initially told New York courts that Giuliani was a physical witness. But Costello said Giuliani’s lawyers were informed on Monday that he is a “target” of the investigation.
Giuliani, Trump’s former personal lawyer and former New York City mayor, was ordered to testify in person before a grand jury handling the case on Wednesday last week.
The grand jury, convened by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, summons issued Giuliani as a physical witness as part of his investigation in July.coordinated effort To illegally alter the outcome of the 2020 elections.” The summons said Giuliani made a statement at a legislative hearing in Georgia that there had been “extensive voter fraud” in the state.
Giuliani was ordered to testify by a judge after he failed to appear at a July 13 hearing to challenge the summons. Costello said Monday that Giuliani still intends to testify before a grand jury this week. new York Times It was first reported that Giuliani was informed that he was the target of the investigation.
Meanwhile, a federal judge on Monday dismissed Sen. Lindsey Graham’s attempt to cancel a summons asking for his testimony Georgia investigation.
US District Court Judge Leigh Martin May in Atlanta dismissed the 22-page order Graham’s argument Against testifying before a special grand jury, including his argument that the speech and debate clause of the Constitution protects South Carolina Republicans from testifying.
Graham’s lawyers had argued that Graham had a legislative purpose following the November 2020 election to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger and was therefore covered by the clause.
The judge also rejected Graham’s argument that sovereign immunity protects him from testifying because he is a US senator.
“If the court were to accept Senator Graham’s sovereign immunity argument, it would mean that US senators would not be required to testify before a state grand jury,” May wrote. “The law would grant them complete immunity based solely on their status as federal officials.”
In the end, the judge said that Graham’s argument for exemption from testimony because he is a high-ranking official also does not hold weight. Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis has shown “extraordinary circumstances” that necessitated the testimony of Graham, who “has unparalleled personal knowledge about the substance and circumstances of phone calls with Georgia election officials, as well as establishing them.” And so is the logistics of their actions. Later,” May said.
Senator Graham’s possible testimony on these issues—in addition to his knowledge of topics outside the call, such as his alleged coordination with the Trump campaign before and after the call—is unique to Senator Graham, and Senator Graham Haven’t suggested that anyone else in their office could talk about these issues or that they have unparalleled personal knowledge.”
Graham’s office issued a statement saying it would appeal the judge’s decision.
“The speech or debate clause of the Constitution prohibits a local official from questioning a senator as to how that senator did his job,” the statement said. “Here, Senator Graham was doing his due diligence before the Electoral Count Act certification vote—where he voted to certify the election. However the district court acknowledged that the speech or debate could protect some of Senator Graham’s activities. Yet, he ignored the constitutional text and binding Supreme Court precedent, so Senator Graham plans to appeal to the 11th Circuit.”
Willis is heeding Graham’s call to Raffensperger in the days following the November 2020 election. Raffensperger has said Graham pressed him About whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, which Raiffensperger interpreted as suggesting to toss out legally cast votes.
The summons, seeking Graham’s testimony in the case, said he “made at least two telephone calls” to Raffensperger and his employees. “During a telephone call, [Graham] Asked Secretary Raffensperger and his staff about re-examining some absentee ballots cast in Georgia to rule out the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump. [Graham] also made reference to allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November 2020 election in Georgia, which is consistent with public statements made by known aides of the Trump campaign,” the summons said.
Frank Thorpe V contribution,