Former Trump aide Mark Meadows ordered to testify before Georgia Grand Jury

Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows must testify before a Georgia Grand Jury investigating Republican efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election in the state, a South Carolina judge ruled Wednesday.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D) has said her investigation “examines the concerted efforts of multiple states to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.” Because Meadows doesn’t live in Georgia, she couldn’t subpoena him to testify, but filed a petition in August to do so.

South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Edward Miller ruled Wednesday that Meadows must comply with a subpoena because his testimony is “material and necessary to the investigation and that the State of Georgia assures him not to cause him undue difficulty.”

The ruling was confirmed on Wednesday by Jeff DiSantis, a spokesperson for Willis. DiSantis said Meadows would not be called up until after the midterm elections.

A Meadows attorney said Wednesday there is a possibility of appeal or additional legal action.

“There may be additional court proceedings before a decision is made on an appeal,” said Meadows’ attorney, George J. Terwilliger.

Meadows, who served four terms as a congressman from North Carolina before becoming Trump’s White House chief of staff, has helped promote Trump’s baseless claims that widespread voter fraud got the presidency to Joe Biden. Meadows has said he now lives in South Carolina, although he registered to vote in 2020 using the address of a North Carolina mobile home.

In her petition to request Meadows’ testimony, Willis noted Meadows’ participation in a phone call that Trump made on January 2, 2021 to Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) asking to “find” 11,780 votes. that would allow him to beat Joe Biden in the state.

‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long conversation, Trump pressures Georgia’s secretary of state to recalculate the vote in his favor

Willis wrote that she was also interested in testimony related to a December 21, 2020 meeting that Meadows attended at the White House with Trump and others “to discuss allegations of voter fraud and the certification of electoral college votes from Georgia and other states.”

Willis also noted in the petition that on December 22, 2020, Meadows made “a surprise visit” to the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, Georgia, where the office of the Secretary of State of Georgia and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were absent. vote signature match audit.

There, Meadows asked “to personally observe the audit process, but was prevented from doing so because the audit was not public,” Willis wrote.

Meadows had attempted to quash Georgia’s subpoena, citing executive privilege and arguing that the Georgia Special Grand Jury is conducting a civil investigation and not a criminal proceeding that requires his testimony. Willis has said the investigation — which is being conducted by a special grand jury — is criminal in nature.

Meadows’ South Carolina attorney James W. Bannister argued in court files that the subpoena was unfounded because the September date when his testimony was originally requested has passed.

The Meadows ruling came Wednesday when another prominent Republican, Senator Lindsey O. Graham (SC), appealed to the Supreme Court to block a request to block his testimony.

Graham has argued that he is protected from having to testify by the constitutional protections afforded to lawmakers conducting official business.

Judge Clarence Thomas temporarily halted an order for Graham to appear on Monday. The brief injunction appears to be an attempt to maintain the status quo as Graham’s Supreme Court petition progresses. Prosecutors face a Thursday deadline to respond to Graham’s request, which usually means the full court will consider the matter.

Last week, a unanimous panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit rejected an attempt by Graham to block a Willis subpoena alleging that a sitting senator is being shielded from witnesses in such investigations.

Despite resistance from Graham, Meadows and others, the Georgia Grand Jury has heard testimony from prominent Trump advisers, including attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. Testimony requests are pending from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser.

Many Republican officials in Georgia have already testified. The list includes Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and his staff, Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr (R), state legislators and local election workers. State Republican governor Brian Kemp filed a 121-page motion in August to quash a subpoena that required his testimony. The judge who oversaw the investigation agreed to postpone the governor’s arrival until after the 2022 election. Kemp is seeking reelection.

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