Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, John Eastman receive subpoenas
This week we learn that Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, John Eastman and several others in the former president’s orbit were subpoenaed in the election meddling inquiry.
Seven close advisers of Donald J. Trump, including Rudolph W. Giuliani and Senator Lindsey Graham, were subpoenaed on Tuesday in the ongoing criminal investigation in Georgia of election interference by Mr. Trump and his associates. The move bodes ill for some of Trump’s closest advisors.
The subpoenas underscore the depth of the investigation by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, which encompasses most of Atlanta. Many charges are under consideration, according to legal filings, including, but not limited to racketeering and conspiracy, and her inquiry has encompassed witnesses from other states. The latest round of subpoenas was reported earlier by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Fulton County investigation is one of a multitude of inquiries into activities by Mr. Trump and his band of pirates to overturn the outcome of a US democratic election, and it’s the one that seems to put them at the greatest legal exposure as the JAN 06th committee continues its investigation into the assaut on the Capitol. And there is an intensifying investigation by the Justice Department into a scheme to create slates of alternate (fake) presidential electors in 2020.
A subpoena is not an indication that someone is a subject of an inquiry, though some of the latest recipients are considered at risk in the case — in particular. Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the grand jury proceedings in the Georgia investigation. Giuliani spent several hours speaking before state legislative panels in December 2020, where he peddled false and profoundly dishonest conspiracy theories about corrupted voting machines and a video that he claimed showed “secret suitcases” of Democratic ballots. He asserted members of the State House at the time, “You cannot possibly certify Georgia in good faith.”
Amid the deepening investigations, Mr. Trump is weighing yet another cynical move by an early announcement that he would in fact enter the presidential election of 2024, to facilitate claims by him that the investigation is politically motivated.
Ms. Willis’s office, in its subpoena, said Mr. Giuliani “possesses unique knowledge regarding communications between himself, Trump, the Trump campaign, and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multistate, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and other states.”
Not all subpoenas have been received at this time, but all have been issued.
Others sent subpoenas included Jenna Ellis, a lawyer who worked closely with Mr. Giuliani to overturn the 2020 election results; John Eastman, the legal architect of a plan to keep Mr. Trump in power by using fake electors, and Mr. Graham, the South Carolina Republican who called the Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, days after the election to inquire about the rules for discarding mail-in ballots.
Cleta Mitchell, another prominent attorney was on a Jan. 2, 2021, call that Trump made to Raffensperger where he asked him to find enough votes to reverse the state’s results. The subpoena to her said, “During the telephone call, the witness and others made allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November 2020 election in Georgia and pressured Secretary Raffensperger to take action in his official capacity to investigate unfounded claims of fraud.”
Jacki Pick Deason, who helped make the Trump team’s case before the Georgia legislature, and Kenneth Chesebro, two other Trump attorneys whose role has
come into sharper focus during the House Jan. 6 hearings in Washington were also subpoenaed. In an email exchange with Mr. Eastman in the run-up to the Jan. 6 attack, he wrote that the Supreme Court would be more likely to act on a Wisconsin legal challenge “if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6 unless they rule by then, either way.”
Most of those subpoenaed could not be immediately reached for comment. Ms. Deason declined to comment through a spokesman for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, where she is a senior fellow.
The special grand jury was impaneled in early May and has up to one year to complete its work before issuing a report advising Ms. Willis on whether to pursue criminal charges. Ms. Willis has said she hopes to conclude rather substantially sooner than that. In official letters sent to potential witnesses, her office is examining potential violations that include “the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”, as stated via official letters from her office.
The new subpoenas offered some further clues about where her investigation is focused.
Ms. Willis’s office said in its subpoena to Mr. Eastman that during the hearing he had “advised lawmakers that they had both the lawful authority and a ‘duty’
to replace the Democratic Party’s slate of presidential electors, who had been certified as the duly appointed electors for the State of Georgia after the November 2020 election, due to unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud within the state.” Mr. Eastman was a key witness at one of the December 2020 legislative hearings that were led by Mr. Giuliani.
Together, They called the appearance part of a “multistate, coordinated effort by the Trump campaign to unduly influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”
Mr. Eastman also “drafted at least two memoranda to the Trump Campaign and others detailing a plan through which Vice President Mike Pence, as president of the Senate, could refuse to count some of President Joe Biden’s electoral votes” on Jan. 6 — a plan that was rejected by Mr. Pence, according to the subpoena.
Ms. Willis’s office said that even after Mr. Raffensperger’s office debunked claims of fraud by election workers at an Atlanta arena, Ms. Ellis persisted. “Despite this, the witness made additional statements claiming widespread voter fraud in Georgia during the November 2020 election,” the subpoena said.
Trump has predictably derided the inquiry; last year, a spokesman for Trump called it “the Democrats’ latest attempt to score political points by continuing their witch hunt against him.”