Rudy Giuliani, the onetime personal attorney of former President Donald Trump, testified before the Fulton County special purpose grand jury examining Georgia’s 2020 elections for roughly six hours on Wednesday.

Pryor Street in downtown Atlanta took on a circus-like atmosphere as some three-dozen reporters and camera-people from local and national news outlets jockeyed for the best view of the former New York City mayor.

He arrived around 8:30 a.m., accompanied by his lawyer, Robert J. Costello, and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Vernon Jones. Giuliani left the Fulton County courthouse through a private exit shortly after 3 p.m. with a sheriff’s escort.

Bill Thomas, Giuliani’s local attorney, declined to answer reporters’ questions.

“I can tell you that we were ordered to be here, we showed up, we did what we had to do,” he said. “The grand jury process is a secret process and we’re going to respect that.”

Giuliani’s appearance came two days after Costello confirmed his client was named a target of the investigation and could be indicted.

Giuliani later cited the development as evidence that “we’re starting to live in a fascist state.”

“It’s just a further desecration of the Sixth Amendment. I was his lawyer of record in that case,” Giuliani said on Newsmax Monday, referencing Trump. “The statements that I made are either attorney-client privilege, because they were between me and him, or they were being made on his behalf in order to defend him.”

He added, “When you start turning around lawyers into defendants when they’re defending their clients, we’re starting to live in a fascist state. Look, I’ve already had my law office raided. I never thought I’d ever see that happen.”

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Giuliani’s appearance was undoubtedly one of the most high-profile for the 23-person grand jury, which was selected in May and has already interviewed dozens of witnesses. It’s tasked with investigating whether Trump or his allies like Giuliani broke any state laws as they tried to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results.

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is advising the grand jury and will ultimately decide whether to press charges, has faced increasing resistance from witnesses as she’s gotten closer to Trump’s inner circle.

Giuliani’s attorneys would not say whether he pleaded the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination or how much he cited attorney-client privilege to avoid answering questions about specific conversations he had with Trump.

ExploreCatch up on the Trump Georgia investigation

Fulton superior Court Judge Robert McBurney last week ordered Giuliani to honor his subpoena and testify before the grand jury after the 78-year-old sought to delay his testimony as he recovers from a recent heart stent operation.

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

When asked about how he got to Georgia after his lawyers filed a doctor’s note to McBurney saying he couldn’t fly, Giuliani replied: “I’ll give you one answer: I didn’t walk.”

“Grand juries, as I recall, are secret,” Giuliani said when asked about his testimony. “They ask the questions and we’ll see. "

The grand jury is interested in several Georgia events involving Giuliani in late 2020, including his role in the appointment of a slate of “alternate” Trump electors. Jurors have also questioned witnesses who were called by Giuliani as Georgia’s election results were being disputed and attended three statehouse hearings, during which Giuliani unfurled falsehood-filled allegations of widespread fraud.

Giuliani’s claims were quickly debunked by the Secretary of State’s office, but he doubled down on his comments in the following weeks.

His subpoena identifies him as both Trump’s personal lawyer and the lead attorney for the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to influence election results in Georgia and elsewhere.

“There is evidence that the Witness’s appearance and testimony at (a Dec. 3, 2020) hearing was part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere,” Giuliani’s subpoena stated.

Also Wednesday, Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer of the First Judicial District of New Mexico ordered John Eastman to testify before the special grand jury on Aug. 30, finding he was a “material and necessary witness” for the investigation.

Eastman, a former law professor who advised the Trump campaign, testified before a state legislative committee and told Georgia lawmakers there was evidence of fraud and told lawmakers it was their “duty” to protect the integrity of the Georgia election. Eastman also authored legal memos to the Trump campaign detailing a plan in which Vice President Mike Pence could refuse to count some of President Joe Biden’s votes.

During the hearing, Eastman’s lawyer, Joseph Gribble, said his client would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights before the grand jury and not disclose any attorney-client discussions. “Therefore he is not a material and necessary witness because he can’t provide information,” Gribble said.

But Marlowe Sommer was unmoved. She said Eastman’s intentions to invoke his constitutional rights must be taken up by Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, not her.

On Wednesday, lawyers for U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham asked U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May to enjoin the special grand jury proceedings. The motion said this will allow Graham time to appeal May’s order requiring him to testify on Aug. 23, rejecting his arguments that he was shielded by several federal immunities.

”Senator Graham will suffer irreparable harm if forced to appear before his appeal concludes,” the motion said.

Graham had asked the DA’s office to postpone his grand jury appearance pending his appeal, but the office has not responded, his motion said. It also predicted Graham will prevail before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

May soon issued an order directing the DA’s office to file a response to Graham’s motion on Friday morning

A day earlier, a Colorado judge ordered Jenna Ellis, a former Trump campaign attorney who worked closely with Giuliani, to honor her subpoena and testify before the Fulton grand jury.

ExplorePhoto gallery: Giuliani arrives in Atlanta

Fulton prosecutor Will Wooten told 8th Judicial District Judge Gregory Lammons that investigators were interested in questioning Ellis about several issues, including her involvement in Georgia legislative hearings about election fraud in late 2020, legal memos she authored about what then-Vice President Mike Pence could do to reverse the election results and any knowledge about coordination among Trump campaign officials, according to CNN.

Also on Tuesday, attorneys for 11 of the 16 “alternate” Trump electors in Georgia renewed their push to disqualify Willis from their portion of the investigation. All 16 had previously been named investigation targets.

The 11 argued that their situation was “inextricably intertwined” with state Sen. Burt Jones, who also served as a Trump elector. Jones, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, won his fight to replace Willis and the Fulton DA’s office in his part of the probe because Willis had hosted a fundraiser for his Democratic opponent.

“Indeed, because Senator Jones has been removed from this investigation, there is arguably an even greater likelihood that the officers of his campaign partners, his running mates, his financial supporters, and his key political allies could be treated even more harshly,” their filing argued.

McBurney rejected an earlier push from the electors to quash their subpoenas and seek out new prosecutors.

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Vernon Jones, the former gubernatorial candidate, said Wednesday that Giuliani was in good spirits on the way to the courthouse and not nervous about providing testimony.

“Actually we were having so much fun talking and just sharing stories of when he’s visited Georgia. He loves the people here and talked about the apple pie... he loves Waffle House, how green it is here in Georgia,” Jones said of his friend.

Staff writers David Wickert, J.D. Capelouto and Tyler Estep contributed to this article.