Georgia grand jury subpoenas Mon. Graham, Giuliani and Trump legal team

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ATLANTA — As part of an ongoing investigation into Donald Trump’s potential criminal interference in the 2020 presidential election, several of the former president’s closest advisers — including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani — are being subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Georgia’s Fulton County, according to court filings obtained by The Washington Post.

The subpoenas, which were approved July 5 by the judge presiding over the grand jury, summon senior members of Trump’s legal team, including Giuliani, Kenneth Chesebro, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis and Cleta Mitchell, all of whom are believed to have knowledge of Trump’s attempts to tamper with the election process in battleground states such as Georgia, according to the documents. The conservative pundit Jacki Pick Deason was also subpoenaed.

Robert Costello, a lawyer for Giuliani, said Tuesday night his client has “not been served with any subpoena.” The other advisers did not respond to requests for comment.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis launched an investigation into Trump’s potential election interference in Georgia in February 2021 after The Washington Post reported Trump had called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Jan. 2, 2021, and urged him to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the state. This spring, Willis requested that a grand jury aid the investigation, arguing that it would be able to issue subpoenas to individuals of interest who had otherwise refused to cooperate.

The latest subpoenas — which were first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — are the most significant step yet taken to target Trump’s inner circle that apparently worked to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia and beyond. The revelations also shed light on the broader scope and direction of the investigation.

The subpoenas of Giuliani and others Tuesday required the approval of Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney because they were directed at people who do not live in Georgia.

Court filings seeking testimony from Graham cite his conversations with Raffensperger after the 2020 election in which the two were reportedly discussed the state’s absentee-ballot policies.

Court documents related to Giuliani cite his December 2020 testimony before the Georgia legislature, during which he claimed to have evidence of widespread voter fraud. Giuliani presented lawmakers with a video claiming election workers had produced “suitcases” full of unlawful ballots during counting at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta. Investigators dismissed the claims shortly thereafter.

“Despite this, the Witness made additional statements, both to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings, claiming widespread voter fraud in Georgia during the November 2020 election and using the now-debunked State Farm video in support of those statements,” a court filing says.

Giuliani “possesses unique knowledge concerning communications between himself, former President Trump, the Trump Campaign, and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere,” according to court documents.

Eastman, who helped lead the Trump legal team’s efforts, also tested to the Georgia legislature that lawmakers had a “duty” to replace the state’s official electors selected by the Georgia Democratic Party with a fake slate of nominees, according to the documents. Ellis, a Trump legal adviser, also tested to the Georgia legislature about the false claims at the State Farm Arena.

Mitchell’s testimony is being sought for her alleged role in the Jan. 2, 2021, Trump’s phone call had with Raffensperger, according to the filings. Mitchell “made allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November 2020 election” and called on “Raffensperger to take action in his official capacity to investigate unfounded claims of fraud,” a filing reads.

The grand jury is pursuing Chesebro’s testimony about a plan “to cast purported electoral college votes in favor of former President Donald Trump, even though none of those 16 individuals had been ascertained as Georgia’s certified presidential electors by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp,” according to the documents. Chesebro had contested in internal Trump campaign memos that 16 fake electors for the former president should convene at the Georgia Capitol on Dec. 14, 2020, to falsely certify Trump as the election’s victor, according to documents reviewed by The Post.

Trump campaign documents show advisers knew fake-elector plan was baseless

The 23-person grand jury is also slated to hear from a number of current and former aids to Raffensperger and could hear testimony from Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R). Several state Democratic lawmakers and at least two Fulton County election workers are also set to testify. Kemp (R) will also submit a sworn recorded statement to the Fulton County district’s attorney’s office as part of the investigation, according to court filings obtained by The Post.

In response to a motion by some Georgia state lawmakers to dismiss the investigation, McBurney said July 1 he may limit what questions Willis and the grand jurors can ask about Georgia lawmakers’ communication with each other and their staff, citing legislative privilege. The judge added, however, that he remained open to allowing the grand jury to inquire into lawmakers’ third-party communications.

McBurney said he would issue formal guidelines for the grand jury by mid-July.

Mariana Alfaro and Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.

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