A Georgia judge has ordered Rudy Giuliani to appear next week before a special grand jury in Atlanta investigating whether former President Donald Trump criminally interfered with the state’s 2020 election.
Giuliani was scheduled to testify Tuesday, but was excused by the judge after his lawyers filed a motion asking for a delay, claiming the former New York City mayor was unable to fly due to recently having two heart stents surgically installed.
But at a hearing the same day, Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the grand jury, directed Giuliani to appear on Aug. 17 unless his legal team can provide a reason why he would need more time to arrange travel.
Giuliani’s lawyer, Bill Thomas, raised the possibility to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis that the interview could occur closer to New York or be conducted virtually.
“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 told the judge, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Prosecutors rejected those options.
Willis launched a criminal investigation in March 2021 after Trump was recorded during a Jan. 2 telephone conservation with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to change the results of the presidential election.
“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,” Trump said. “Because we won the state.”
Raffensperger rejected the former president’s request.
President Biden defeated Trump in Georgia, becoming the first Democratic nominee to win the state since Bill Clinton in 1992.
Willis, in court documents seeking Giuliani’s appearance, described him as a personal attorney to Trump and a lead attorney for the Trump campaign.
She said Giuliani and other campaign officials appeared before the Georgia State Senate in December 2020 and provided “evidence purporting” to show election fraud in a number of Peach State counties.
Giuliani also showed a video of election workers in Atlanta “producing ‘suitcases’ of unlawful ballots from unknown sources, outside the view of election poll watchers.”
That video was debunked within 24 hours by Raffensperger’s office, Willis wrote.
“There is evidence that the Witness’s appearance and testimony at the hearing was part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 in Georgia and elsewhere,” Willis wrote in the court papers.
The prosecutor is also seeking testimony from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who also called Raffensperger after the election to ask about reexamining absentee ballots “to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome” for Trump.
Graham is fighting the subpoena.
“I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I had to vote on certifying an election. This is ridiculous. This weaponization of the law needs to stop,” Graham told reporters in South Carolina on Tuesday.
“So I will use the courts, and we’ll go as far as we need to go, and do whatever needs to be done, to make sure that people like me can do their job without fear of some county prosecutor coming after you,” he added.
With Post wires