Washington — The Georgia prosecutor examining former President Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the state's 2020 election results is seeking to compel several Trump allies, including Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey Graham, to testify before the special grand jury investigating the scheme.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis petitioned the judge overseeing the panel to issue certificates determining Giuliani, Graham and others are material witnesses to the investigation, the first step in asking courts in other states to compel the witnesses to appear in Georgia. Conservative attorney John Eastman and pundit Jacki Deason were also identified as material witnesses, as well as Trump attorneys Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro and Jenna Ellis.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the move to compel the witnesses' testimony. The certificates state the witnesses would be required to testify as early as July 12.
An attorney for Giuliani said the former New York mayor has "not been served with a subpoena." Graham's attorneys say he plans to challenge the matter in court.
"In my conversations with Fulton County investigators, I have been informed Senator Graham is neither a subject nor target of the investigation, simply a witness," Graham attorneys Bart Daniel and Matt Austin said in a statement. "This is all politics. Fulton County is engaged in a fishing expedition and working in concert with the January 6 Committee in Washington. Any information from an interview or deposition with Senator Graham would immediately be shared with the January 6 Committee. ... Senator Graham plans to go to court, challenge the subpoena, and expects to prevail."
The certificate naming Giuliani as a material witness noted his appearance at a hearing before the Georgia state senate in December 2020. Serving as Trump's personal attorney, Giuliani presented allegations of voter fraud that were quickly debunked, yet he continued to repeat them publicly, the certificate said.
"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 election in Georgia and elsewhere," the certificate said.
The document for Graham's testimony states that he spoke to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger shortly after the election. Graham "questioned Secretary Raffensperger and his staff about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome" for Trump, the certificate states.
Graham has acknowledged the phone calls in the past and dismissed any allegations of wrongdoing,in January that he "asked about how the system worked when it came to mail-in voting, balloting."
President Biden won Georgia in 2020 by a narrow margin, and Republican election officials in the state have repeatedly stated and testified that allegations of widespread voter fraud are baseless.
Trump pressured Raffensperger and other officials to "find" enough votes so he would win, according to a recording of a phone call between Trump and Raffensperger that CBS News obtained last year. During the call on Jan. 2, 2021, the president told Raffensperger, "All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state."
The special grand jury wasin January at the request of Willis, the district attorney. The investigation includes the call between Raffensperger and Trump, and the secretary of state was before the grand jury in June. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has also agreed to deliver a sworn recorded statement to the grand jury on July 25.
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