Mark Meadows Ordered To Testify In Georgia Election Probe

by | Oct 26, 2022 | Politics

ATLANTA (AP) — A judge on Wednesday ordered former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to testify before a special grand jury that’s investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence the state’s 2020 election.Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation early last year into actions taken by Trump and others to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden. Meadows is one of a number of high-profile associates and advisers of the Republican former president whose testimony Willis has sought.AdvertisementBecause Meadows doesn’t live in Georgia, Willis, a Democrat, had to use a process that involves getting a judge where he lives in South Carolina to order him to appear. She filed a petition in August seeking to compel his testimony. Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury, signed off on the petition, certifying that Meadows is a “necessary and material witness” for the investigation.Circuit Court Judge Edward Miller in Pickens County, South Carolina, honored McBurney’s finding and ordered Meadows to testify, Willis spokesman Jeff DiSantis confirmed. Meadows attorney James Bannister could not immediately be reached for comment.In the petition seeking Meadows’ testimony, Willis wrote that Meadows attended a Dec. 21, 2020, meeting at the White House with Trump and others “to discuss allegations of voter fraud and certification of electoral college votes from Georgia and other states.” The next day, Willis wrote, Meadows made a “surprise visit” to Cobb County, just outside Atlanta, where an audit of signatures on absentee ballot envelopes was being conducted. He asked to observe the audit but wasn’t allowed to because it wasn’t open to the public, the petition says.Meadows also sent emails to Justice Department officials after the election alleging voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere and requesting investigations, Willis wrote. And he participated in a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during which Trump suggested the state’s top elections official, also a Republican, could “find” enough votes to overturn his narrow election loss in the state.AdvertisementIn a court filing this week, Bannister argued that executive privilege and other rights shield his client from testifying.Bannister asserted in the filing that Meadows has been instructed by Trump “to preserve certain privileges and immunities attaching to his former office as White House Chief of Staff.” Willis’ petition calls for him “to divulge the contents of executive privileged communications with the President,” Bannister wrote.Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters outside the White House, Oct. 26, 2020, in Washington. A judge has ordered former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to travel to Atlanta to testify before a special grand jury that’s investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence the state’s 2020 election.Patrick Semansky via Associated PressMeadows previously invoked that privilege in a fight against subpoenas issued by the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The House held Meadows in contempt of Congress for defying the subpoena, but the Justice Department declined to …

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