ATLANTA (AP) — Prosecutors in Atlanta have told Rudy Giuliani’s attorneys that he is the subject of a criminal investigation into then-President Donald Trump’s attempts to interfere in the 2020 Georgia election, one of the attorneys said Monday. by Giuliani.
Special counsel Nathan Wade notified Giuliani’s Atlanta attorney, Bill Thomas, on Monday, another attorney, Bob Costello, said.
Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation last year and convened a grand jury in May.
Judge Robert McBurney, who oversees the jury, directed Giuliani to appear before the panel on Wednesday. Giuliani, a former New York mayor, was a Trump attorney and close associate.
Last week, McBurney asked prosecutors to notify Giuliani’s attorneys before the arraignment whether he was the subject of the investigation.
Hours earlier it was reported that the Republican senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, will also have to appear before the jury.
Graham’s lawyers had argued that Graham, as a senator, had immunity from appearing before the panel, and asked a judge to vacate the summons. But Judge Leigh Martin May wrote Monday that Senate immunity does not exempt Graham from having to testify.
Graham is due to appear on August 23, but his office announced that he will appeal to the 11th District Court of Appeals.
Prosecutors have expressed interest in asking Graham about phone calls he allegedly made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his associates in the weeks following Trump’s electoral loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Graham had argued that the Constitution exempts senators from being questioned about legislative acts.
But the judge found that there are “considerable areas susceptible to jury investigation” that fall outside the constitutional clause. The judge also rejected Graham’s argument that the principle of “sovereign immunity” protects a senator from having to testify before a state prosecutor.
Graham further argued that Willis, who is a Democrat, had failed to show that there is an extraordinary circumstance that warrants requiring a statement from a high-ranking official.
But the judge disagreed, ruling that Willis did show that there are “extraordinary circumstances and a special need” for Graham to testify about attempts to interfere in the Georgia election.