Former President Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani is now a confirmed target of a Georgia prosecutor’s investigation into efforts to overturn the Peach State’s 2020 presidential election results, the former New York City mayor’s attorney told Law&Crime.
“Today, Nathan Wade called our local counsel, Bill Thomas, and told him he [Giuliani] was a target,” Giuliani’s lawyer Robert J. Costello said in an email. “Previously they refused to answer the question. They told a [New York] Judge that Giuliani was a ‘material witness.'”
Wade is the special prosecutor in charge of the 2020 election-focused investigation at issue.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis (D), who represents most of Atlanta, began investigating various members of the 45th president’s post-election legal team – including Giuliani – in the spring of 2021. In January of this year, Willis requested and was allowed to empanel a special purpose grand jury to investigate Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia.
Though the special purpose grand jury cannot itself issue indictments, the DA previously announced that the fake Trump electors are “targets” of her probe, suggesting a concurrent grand jury may consider charging them with crimes in the future. Those purported electors falsely said they were valid presidential electors, even though President Joe Biden won Georgia by 11,779 votes.
The president’s margin of victory gained sufficient notoriety in light of Trump’s post-defeat request to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) to “find” one more vote than that number to overcome his loss in the state. Trump himself recently hired an attorney in relation to the ongoing inquiry. Additional members of Trumpworld also made public, and publicized, statements intended to overturn the result that are being investigated by the prosecutor.
Last week, Giuliani’s legal team announced in court that they were in the dark about their client’s status vis-à-vis Willis’ investigation.
That admission came after Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the investigation, implored the DA’s office to be more forthcoming about what they want from Giuliani before he testifies in front of the special grand jury – without mandating such a disclosure – during a hearing focused on health issues.
“Don’t leave them hanging on that front,” McBurney advised the prosecutor’s team. In the end, the judge allowed Giuliani to postpone previously-scheduled testimony to Aug. 17, 2022.
In an email to Law&Crime, national security lawyer Bradley P. Moss explained the upshot of the latest development in the case.
“Rudy is now on notice that the DA is examining the likelihood of bringing an indictment against him,” he said. “This notice allows Rudy to take that into consideration before his scheduled testimony, and to potentially invoke his Fifth Amendment rights as a result to protect himself. Being a target does not mean you will be indicted but it means it is highly likely.”
The development was first reported by The New York Times.
“If these people think he’s going to talk about conversations between him and President Trump, they’re delusional,” Costello told the Big Apple’s paper of record – suggesting attorney-client privilege would be heavily invoked during the proceedings.
In the aftermath of his longtime personal friend and client’s loss to Biden, Giuliani made a series of false claims that voting machines had altered ballots and that several tens of thousands of improperly cast ballots were included in Georgia’s tallies.
Fulton County authorities have also focused in on the Trump lawyer’s Dec. 3, 2020, appearance before the Georgia State Senate where he offered a video of election workers that purported to show “suitcases” of ballots being nefariously added to vote totals.
“You are the final arbiter of who the electors should be and whether the process is fair or not,” Giuliani told a largely Republican group of legislators that day. “The other way to look at it is, it’s your responsibility if a false and fraudulent count is submitted to the United States government. And it’s clear the count you have right now is false.”
Giuliani’s claims were quickly discredited in each instance.
[image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images]
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