Georgia prosecutors have kept tight-lipped about whether former President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani is a “target” of their investigation into 2020 election subversion, the former mayor’s lawyer announced in court on Tuesday.
Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who is supervising the investigation, said he is imploring the office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis (D) to answer that question before Giuliani testifies before a special grand jury. The judge isn’t ordering that disclosure, however.
“Don’t leave them hanging on that front,” McBurney added.
Nor did special prosecutor Nathan Wade announce it in court on Tuesday.
Before that exchange, discussions of Giuliani’s health issues dominated a hearing over the former mayor’s subpoena to testify before a special grand jury.
Disclosing that Giuliani’s medical professionals restricted his “air travel,” Judge McBurney proposed that Giuliani consider “alternate means of transportation.”
“I’m sure he can find a way, short of Greyhound, that can get him to Atlanta,” McBurney noted.
The Tuesday afternoon hearing fell just weeks after a New York judge rejected Giuliani’s efforts to scuttle the subpoena issued by the DA’s office.
Initially slated to testify today, Giuliani’s legal team called delay unavoidable because of health issues. His lawyer William H. Thomas, Jr. said he was authorized to disclose that the issue involved two coronary heart stents.
Special prosecutor Nathan Wade appeared to express skepticism of Giuliani’s condition, saying that the former mayor’s doctor is an infectious disease specialist. They understood his condition to be a heart issue.
Thomas countered that the DA’s office did not contact Giuliani’s doctor with their questions about his condition.
The DA’s questioning surrounding Giuliani’s health also takes focus in the written filings.
In a brief filed earlier on Tuesday, Thomas disputed the state’s assertion that Giuliani “purchased multiple airline tickets with cash, including tickets to Rome, Italy, and Zurich, Switzerland for travel dates ranging between July 22, 2022 and July 29, 2022.”
“Mr. Giuliani never purchased airline tickets in cash, or otherwise,” Thomas wrote, emphasizing the denial in original.
The lawyer appeared to chalk it up to a misunderstanding.
“Prior to his medical procedure, an international organization had invited Mr. Giuliani to attend a conference overseas,” Thomas’s brief states. “The planning and invitation for this event occurred weeks, if not months, prior to Mr. Giuliani’s medical procedure. In addition to Mr. Giuliani attending the conference, other U.S. officials and dignitaries were scheduled to attend. Ultimately the conference was canceled by the organizers, due in part, to Mr. Giuliani’s health.”
Expressing sensitivity surrounding the medical issues, Judge McBurney proposed moving Giuliani’s appearance in Atlanta to Aug. 17. He said that Giuliani could break up his travel with a stop in Washington, D.C.
Since a judge authorized her earlier this year to convene a special grand jury, Willis has kept Trump’s associates busy. Her office has subpoenaed Giuliani and a slew of Trump’s other lawyers and political allies, including Kenneth Chesebro, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Jenna Ellis and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
Others, like Graham and Giuliani, have opposed their subpoenas in court.
All of the 16 false Trump electors have been designated as “targets,” but one — Trump ally and state Sen. Burt Jones (R) — succeeded in disqualifying Willis from investigating him, after the DA headlined a fundraiser for Jones’s political opponent. Georgia’s Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council has not yet decided whether another DA will pick up Jones’s probe.
Despite that misstep, the DA’s office has large succeeded having its subpoenas upheld and dismissed challenges against them. Graham’s motion to quash is currently pending in federal court.
(Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg)
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