‘Breakdown’ Episode 5: The out-of-state witness subpoenas

Fulton’s grand jury investigation into President Trump seeks statements from Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani and more.

The fifth episode of “The Trump Grand Jury,” the ninth season of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Breakdown podcast, recaps a busy period for the special purpose grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump and his allies.

There are a flurry of witnesses coming in to testify about what happened at the state Capitol in the weeks after the November 2020 presidential election. There is a courtroom scuffle over legislative immunity. And there is the issuance of seven out-of-state material witness subpoenas that penetrate former president Trump’s inner circle.

Recipients of the subpoenas include attorneys Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman and Cleta Mitchell. Also on the receiving end was U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

In their application for Graham’s subpoena, Fulton County prosecutors noted the senator placed two phone calls to Secretary of State Brad Raffesperger and his staff. Graham, prosecutors said, was asking about absentee ballots “in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome” for Trump.

Graham has denied doing anything appropriate. And his lawyers issued a statement saying Graham will challenge the subpoena and expects to prevail.

In an interview, District Attorney Fani Willis said the pushback was expected.

“I expect lawyers to fight the subpoena,” she said. “It didn’t really come as a surprise to me.”

ExploreThe latest on the Trump grand jury probe

She also said it is possible another round of subpoenas could go even further.

“I think it would be safe to say that if people have information, in particular about Georgia and interference in the Georgia elections, and they were in the White House, that will not bar us from wanting to talk to them,” she said.

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ExploreListen to previous seasons of the AJC's 'Breakdown' podcast