Washington – 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 grand jury tasked with investigating the scheme.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis asked the judge overseeing the panel to issue certificates determining that Giuliani, Graham and others are material witnesses to the investigation, the first step in asking the courts to other states to compel witnesses to appear in Georgia. Conservative attorney John Eastman and expert Jacki Deason have also been identified as key witnesses, along with Trump attorneys Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro and Jenna Ellis.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the decision to compel the testimony of witnesses. The certificates indicate that the witnesses would be required to testify as early as July 12.
Requests for comment from Giuliani and a spokesperson for Graham were not immediately returned on Tuesday.
The certificate naming Giuliani as a material witness noted his appearance at a hearing before the Georgia state senate in December 2020. As Trump’s personal attorney, Giuliani presented allegations of voter fraud that were quickly debunked, but he continued to repeat them publicly, the certificate said.
“There is evidence that the appearance and testimony of the witness in court was part of a coordinated multi-state plan by the Trump campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere,” the certificate reads.
Graham’s testimony document says he spoke to Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger shortly after the election. Graham “questioned Secretary Raffensperger and his team about reconsidering certain mail-in ballots cast in Georgia to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome” for Trump, the certificate said.
Graham acknowledged the phone calls in the past and denied any allegations of wrongdoing,in January that he “asked how the system worked in terms of mail-in voting, balloting.”
President Biden won Georgia in 2020 by a narrow margin, and Republican election officials in the state have repeatedly said and testified that allegations of widespread voter fraud are baseless.
Trump pressured Raffensperger and other officials to “find” enough votes for him to win, according to a recording of a phone call between Trump and Raffensperger that CBS News obtained last year. During the call on January 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 that 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 Governor Brian Kemp also agreed to give a sworn statement to the grand jury on July 25.