Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani arrives at his apartment building after the suspension of his law license in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., June 24, 2021.
Andrew Kelly | Reuters
A Georgia special grand jury on Tuesday issued subpoenas demanding testimony from Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and the attorney Rudy Giuliani as part of an investigation of possible criminal interference in that state’s 2020 election by former President Donald Trump.
Also subpoenaed were members of Trump’s campaign legal team in addition to Giuliani, who led their effort to overturn the election victories of President Joe Biden in several swing states, including Georgia.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney signed off on the subpoenas issued by the grand jury, which is meeting in Atlanta under his oversight. McBurney is required to authorize subpoenas issued to nonresidents of Georgia.
The subpoenas were first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
CNBC has requested comment on the report from Graham, who was a close ally of Trump.
Fulton County’s top prosecutor already was known to be eyeing a November 2020 phone call Graham had with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger after the election in that state.
The subpoena issued to Graham said he made at least two calls to Raffensperger and his staff about “reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham questions U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Anna Moneymaker | Getty Images
A copy of the subpoena to Giuliani notes that he appeared before the Georgia state Senate on Dec. 3, 2020, and provided testimony, witnesses and documentary evidence “purporting to demonstrate the existence of election fraud in multiple Georgia counties.”
“Despite [lack of evidence], the Witness made additional statements, both to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings, claiming widespread voter fraud in Georgia during the November 2020 election and using the now-debunked State Farm Video in support of those statements,” the subpoena said.
That video, which also was cited by Trump, purported to show Georgia poll workers introducing fraudulent ballots carried in so-called suitcases during the vote-counting process at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta on Election Day in 2020. But the suitcases actually were boxes normally used to store ballots, election officials said after the claims were first made.
The subpoena also says that Giuliani “possesses unique knowledge concerning communications between himself, former President Trump, the Trump Campaign, and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”
Robert Costello, an attorney representing Giuliani, told CNBC, “We don’t know anything about a subpoena.”
“We have not received any subpoena,” Costello said.
Asked how he and Giuliani would respond, Costello replied: “We’ll decide that if and when it comes to pass.”
The other Trump-allied lawyers who were issued subpoenas were John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesbro Jenna Ellis and Jacki Pick Deason, a podcast host who spoke on the State Farm Arena video.
The subpoenas issued Tuesday say the witnesses must be in attendance for testimony between July 12 and Aug. 31.
The grand jury was impaneled in Atlanta in early May at the request of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is overseeing the investigation. The grand jury began hearing testimony in early June, after Georgia’s primary elections.
Willis, in seeking the formation of the grand jury, told a judge in January that she had received information indicating a reasonable probability” that Georgia’s election “was subject to possible criminal disruptions.”
Willis said that information included reports that people “associated with these disruptions” contacted Raffensperger, Georgia’s attorney general and the U.S Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
The U.S. Attorney, Byung “BJay” Pak, abruptly resigned on Jan. 4, 2021, in a surprise move.
Two days earlier, Trump in a phone call that occurred while he was still president, urged Raffensperger to “find” him enough votes to overturn Biden’s win. “All I want to do is this: I just want to find 11,780 votes,” Trump told him.
That call occurred four days before the U.S. Congress began meeting in a joint session to confirm the Electoral College victory of Biden.