Giuliani seeking to delay Fulton grand jury testimony

Trump’s personal attorney scheduled to appear Tuesday

Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, is aiming to delay his testimony before a Fulton County special grand jury examining Georgia’s 2020 elections as he recovers from a recent medical procedure, according to new court filings.

Attorneys for Giuliani will challenge his subpoena, technically known as a certificate of material witness, at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday in front of Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney. That’s roughly the same time their client is scheduled to testify before the 23-person special grand jury.

A lawyer for the former New York City mayor submitted doctors notes to the Fulton County District Attorney’s office saying that Giuliani is recovering from a “recent invasive procedure” following a “complex artery diagnosis” and isn’t yet cleared for air travel.

The filing noted that the DA’s office turned down offers to testify virtually or wait until Giuliani is cleared to fly to Atlanta.

“Mr. Giuliani is in no way seeking to inappropriately delay, or obstruct these proceedings or avoid giving evidence or testimony that is not subject to some claim of privilege in this matter,” Attorney Bill Thomas stated.

ExploreCourtroom showdowns on deck for Fulton Trump probe

A spokesman for the DA’s office declined to comment.

But in a separate court filing, DA Fani Willis said the doctor’s note came a day after Giuliani tweeted a smiling photo of himself with an entertainment reporter in New Hampshire.

After the doctor clarified that Giuliani wasn’t cleared for air travel — Thomas said Giuliani had been driven to New Hampshire — the DA’s office said it offered to pay for train or bus fare. It also said that it had obtained evidence that Giuliani had purchased airline tickets to Italy and Switzerland for late July dates shortly after his medical procedure — though it doesn’t specify whether Giuliani used the tickets.

“Based on the foregoing, the District Attorney respectfully requests that the Court deny Rudolph William Louis Giuliani’s motion and order him to comply with ... (court orders) commanding his appearance before the special grand jury instanter,” Willis wrote.

Giuliani was ordered to testify last month by New York State Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber after he failed to show at a July 13 hearing in which he was scheduled to argue why the court shouldn’t honor the Georgia subpoena.

Farber wrote that Giuliani was required to appear before the Fulton grand jury beginning on Aug. 9, “and on any such other dates as this Court may order.”

Publicly addressing the development for the first time, Thomas said that Giuliani had received notice of his New York hearing the day before his scheduled appearance, as he was recovering from his procedure, and set it aside without looking at the date. By the time he reviewed the document the court date had already passed.

McBurney signed off on Giuliani’s subpoena in early July, noting that he was “a necessary and material witness” to the criminal investigation, which is examining whether Trump or his allies committed any state crimes when they tried to overturn Georgia’s 2020 elections. It was one of a half-dozen subpoenas aimed at compelling the testimony of Trump’s top allies and legal advisers.

The grand jury has indicated it’s interested in testimony Giuliani gave before Georgia legislators in three separate hearings in late 2020. Giuliani screened edited surveillance video of ballots being tabulated at Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, which he described as a “powerful smoking gun” of widespread election fraud.

Giuliani’s claims were quickly debunked by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, but he continued to share the video and doubled down on his comments in the weeks after. He was later suspended from practicing law in New York, in part because of his testimony in Georgia.

His subpoena says there’s evidence that Giuliani 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 was also reportedly a central figure in the Trump campaign’s quest to appoint a slate of “alternate” Republican electors in swing states like Georgia that Joe Biden won, another area of interest to the special grand jury.

Giuliani also called Georgia House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, in late 2020. Ralston testified before the special grand jury last month.

Giuliani’s lawyer recently asked the DA’s office whether his client was a target of the investigation.

“Obviously if Mr. Giuliani is a target of the investigation, the parties would have to have other discussions regarding his appearance before the Grand Jury at any time,” Thomas wrote.

The DA’s office recently indicated it is considering Georgia’s 16 GOP electors targets of the investigation, though McBurney ruled that one, state Sen. Burt Jones, could not be examined by the Fulton DA’s office due to a conflict of interest on Willis’ end.

Giuliani could ultimately try and cite attorney-client or executive privilege to avoid answering questions from jurors or prosecutors.


A look ahead:

Tuesday: Lawyers for Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani will argue before a Fulton judge that their client should have his testimony before the special grand jury delayed due to a recent medical procedure.

Wednesday: Attorneys for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will appear before an Atlanta-based federal judge to try and quash his subpoena to testify because of legislative privilege.

Next week: John Eastman and Jenna Ellis, two attorneys affiliated with the Trump campaign, will challenge their subpoenas in front of local judges in their respective home states of New Mexico and Colorado.