On Monday, a lawyer for Rudy Giuliani revealed that Giuliani is now a target in a criminal investigation in Fulton County, Georgia, which is examining attempts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Being designated a target in an investigation indicates that an indictment is possible based on evidence that investigators have found so far, though such an outcome isn’t guaranteed.
Giuliani, who formerly served as Trump’s personal lawyer, has emerged in recent weeks as a central figure in the criminal investigation led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. During special grand jury testimonies, numerous witnesses were asked about Giuliani’s efforts to compel state lawmakers to rescind votes in favor of now-President Joe Biden from Georgia’s 16 Electoral College electors.
After Trump lost the election, Giuliani appeared before several panels of state lawmakers across the country, including in Georgia, using debunked claims of election fraud to urge lawmakers to overturn the results.
“Every single vote should be taken away from Biden,” Giuliani said during a hearing in Atlanta.
His actions likely violated state law, as Georgia forbids any individual from trying to coerce, intimidate or otherwise compel elections officials to overturn an election result.
Giuliani is scheduled to appear before the special grand jury in the investigation on Wednesday, though it is unlikely that he will divulge information about the Trump campaign’s attempts to overturn the election. Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, has indicated to The New York Times that his client will invoke attorney-client privilege for many of the questions he will be asked.
“If these people think he’s going to talk about conversations between him and President Trump, they’re delusional,” Costello said.
The revelation that Giuliani is a target of the Georgia investigation comes the same week that a federal judge rejected arguments from another Trump ally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), against having to appear before the special grand jury.
Graham had tried to argue that his comments after the election to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Secretary of State (and, within that capacity, the state’s top elections official), were protected by speech rights and his position as a federal lawmaker. Graham had asked Raffensperger to reexamine Georgia’s absentee ballots in order to “explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former president Donald Trump.”
U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May rejected those arguments on Monday, noting that Willis, in subpoenaing Graham, “has shown extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections.”