Rudy Giuliani spent nearly six hours Wednesday in an Atlanta courthouse before a special grand jury investigating interference in the 2020 election.
Giuliani’s attorney, Robert Costello, declined to say whether former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer invoked his right against self-incrimination after being designated by Fulton County prosecutors as a target of the inquiry.
“It was cordial,” Costello said.
As Giuliani’s session concluded, it became public knowledge that Republican Gov. Brian Kemp had been subpoenaed in the same investigation. His attorneys are trying to squash that court order.
Earlier this week, Georgia prosecutors notified Giuliani’s lawyers that the former New York mayor is now a target of the widening probe, led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.
Costello had said that his client would decline to answer questions about any conversations with Trump. Given his status as a target, it was not immediately clear whether Giuliani that plan had changed.
Takeaways from the Wyoming, Alaska primaries:Cheney loses to Hageman in Wyoming; Alaska’s Murkowski and Palin advance to general
Mike Pence:Former VP Mike Pence says he would ‘consider’ testifying before Jan. 6 committee if asked
Georgia Gov. Kemp seeks to quash Fulton County subpoena
Attorneys for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp are seeking to quash a subpoena for the Republican’s testimony before the Fulton County grand jury, asserting that he was being pursued for “improper political purposes.”
In a local court filing made public as another high-profile witness, Rudy Giuliani had finished an hours-long session with the special grand jury investigating interference in the 2020 election, Kemp’s attorneys asserted that local prosecutors had “engineered the governor’s interaction with the investigation to reach a crescendo in the middle of an election cycle.”
Kemp’s attorneys argued that the governor had agreed to a “voluntary” July 25 interview but claimed that interview was canceled and a subpoena issued after Kemp’s lawyers inquired about the scope of the interview.
Lawyers say ‘no’ to defending Trump: Report
Since the Aug. 8 search of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, Trump and his allies have scrambled to put together a team of top-notch defense lawyers – but they keep being told “no,” the Washington Post reported.
“Everyone is saying no,” a prominent Republican lawyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Post.
The Justice Department is investigating Trump in connection with statutes related to the Espionage Act, record mismanagement and obstruction, according to a warrant authorizing the search of Mar-a-Lago.
Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich told USA TODAY that the lead legal counsel regarding the search of his home are Jim Trusty and Evan Corcoran, asserting the pair have litigated “some of the most complex cases in American history.”
“President Trump is represented by some of the strongest attorneys in the country, and any suggestion otherwise is only driven by envy,” Budowich said.
– Ella Lee, David Jackson
Pence says he would ‘consider’ testifying before Jan. 6 committee if asked
Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he would consider testifying before the House Jan. 6 committee if asked –– some of his most direct and extensive remarks on the subject.
“If there was an invitation to participate, I would consider it,” Pence said at a New Hampshire event that were broadcast on NBC News.
The former vice president expressed constitutional concerns about testifying before the committee, noting that it would be “unprecedented in history” for a vice president to be called to testify before Congress.
However, it wouldn’t be the first time a president or vice president had testified before a congressional committee. At least six presidents and one vice president – Schuyler Colfax, vice president to President Ulysses S. Grant – testified before congressional committees, according to the U.S. Senate’s website.
Georgia probe pushes into Trump’s inner circle
Giuliani is the closest Trump associate known to have been summoned before the Fulton County grand jury.
And demands for the testimony of others are pending.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a loyal Trump confidante, lost a bid earlier this week to nullify a subpoena to appear before the panel when a federal judge rejected an argument that the lawmaker was shielded from scrutiny by legislative privilege.
Graham, who is expected to appeal the decision, placed at least two telephone calls to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and members of Raffensperger’s staff in the weeks following the November 2020 election, seeking additional examination of the ballots.
Prosecutors have also signaled that they are interested in whether Graham’s efforts were coordinated in any way with the Trump campaign.
Another Trump adviser, lawyer John Eastman, pushed the plan for assembling alternate slates of electors to support Trump.
Eastman also advocated for the strategy to have then-Vice President Mike Pence reject electors from seven states, including Georgia, when Congress met to certify the election.
What Rudy Giuliani said about the Georgia election
Following the 2020 election, Giuliani made wide-ranging claims that voting systems altered Georgia ballots, while ignoring a hand-count audit that confirmed President Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
Giuliani also asserted that about 65,000 underage voters, more than 2,500 felons and 800 dead people voted in the state. All of those claims have been debunked by the Georgia secretary of state, which found no underage voters, only 74 potential felony voters and only two votes that may have been improperly cast in the name of dead voters.
Giuliani and friends:Stop complaining about FBI’s Trump search and pay attention to Georgia
According to court documents seeking Giuliani’s grand jury appearance, Fulton County authorities are highlighting the Trump lawyer’s Dec. 3, 2020, appearance before the Georgia State Senate in which he offered a video recording of election workers at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, purporting to show “suitcases” of unlawful ballots from unknown sources, outside the view of election poll watchers.
Within 24 hours of the state Senate hearing, the video had been discredited by the secretary of state’s office, concluding “no voter fraud of any kind had taken place.”
Attorneys for Giuliani, initially characterized as a “material witness” in the investigation, said they had not been informed that their client’s status had changed when they sought to delay his appearance last week because of health reasons.