Rudy Giuliani arrives at Georgia courthouse for ordered testimony in Trump criminal probe

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani arrived in Atlanta Wednesday to testify in connection to the Fulton County prosecutor’s criminal probe into former President Trump. 

Giuliani, who was Trump’s former lawyer, stepped out of a black SUV at approximately 8:30 a.m. in front of the Fulton County Courthouse, where he was swarmed by reporters and news cameras. 

He declined to answer questions from the media before testifying to the 23-person special purpose grand jury as part of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ escalating 18-month investigation into whether the former president or his associates broke state law in advocating to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, delivering a victory to Democrat Joe Biden. 

“Grand juries, as I recall, are secret,” Giuliani, joined by his attorney, Robert Costello, told reporters, according to The Associated Press. “They ask the questions, and we’ll see.”


Rudy Giuliani arrives at the Fulton County Courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Atlanta. 
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

It is unclear what information the 78-year-old Giuliani will be willing to provide to the grand jury after his attorneys revealed on Monday that they have been informed that their client — not Trump alone — is also the target of the Georgia criminal investigation. Questioning will take place behind closed doors because the special grand jury proceedings are secret.

Giuliani’s high-profile appearance comes the week after the FBI raided Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. 

Two days after the raid, Trump pleaded the Fifth in a deposition for New York Attorney General Letitia James. Meanwhile, Willis has reportedly been ramping up her investigation in recent weeks ahead of the November midterm elections anticipating that an announcement by Trump that he would run for a second term in 2024 could put a wrench in her probe. 

Willis opened her investigation after the disclosure of a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. On the call, Trump suggested that Raffensperger could “find” the exact number of votes that would be needed to flip the election results in Georgia. Trump has denied any wrongdoing. He has described the call as “perfect.”

Last month, Willis filed petitions to compel testimony from seven Trump associates and advisers. She has also said she’s considering calling Trump himself to testify, and the former president has hired a legal team in Atlanta that includes Drew Findling, one of Atlanta’s most prominent criminal defense attorneys, who is perhaps best known for representing rap stars.

In seeking Giuliani’s testimony, Willis noted that he was both a personal attorney for Trump and a lead attorney for his 2020 campaign. She recalled in a petition how Giuliani and others appeared at a state Senate committee meeting in late 2020 and presented a video that Giuliani said showed election workers producing “suitcases” of unlawful ballots from unknown sources, outside the view of election poll watchers. 

Rudy Giuliani greeted by reporters outside the Fulton County Courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Atlanta. 

Rudy Giuliani greeted by reporters outside the Fulton County Courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Atlanta. 
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Georgia’s election officials said they debunked the claims of election fraud within 24 hours. Yet Giuliani continued to make statements to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings claiming widespread election fraud using the debunked video, according to Willis’ filing. 

Two of the election workers seen in the video, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, said they faced relentless harassment online and in person after it was shown at the Dec. 3 Georgia legislative hearing in which Giuliani appeared. At another hearing a week later, Giuliani said the footage showed the women “surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they are vials of heroin or cocaine.” They claimed they were actually passing a piece of candy.

Willis wrote in the court filing that Giuliani’s hearing appearance and testimony were “part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.” Willis also wrote in a petition seeking the testimony of attorney Kenneth Chesebro that he worked with Giuliani to coordinate and carry out a plan to have Georgia Republicans serve as fake electors. 

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during an interview at her office, Feb. 24, 2021, in Atlanta. 

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during an interview at her office, Feb. 24, 2021, in Atlanta. 
(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

Those 16 people signed a certificate declaring falsely that Trump had won the 2020 presidential election and declaring themselves the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors even though Biden had won the state and a slate of Democratic electors was certified.

Giuliani’s attorneys tried to delay his appearance before the special grand jury, saying he was unable to fly due to heart stent surgery in early July. 

However, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the special grand jury, said during a hearing last week that Giuliani needed to be in Atlanta on Wednesday and could travel by bus, car or train if necessary. When asked how he made the trip, Giuliani told reporters: “I’ll give you one answer: I didn’t walk.”


Other Trump allies have also been swept up in the probe. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., received a subpoena ordering him to appear for testimony on Aug. 23. 

Graham has challenged that subpoena, citing his protections as a member of Congress. A judge on Monday rejected that argument and said he must testify. Graham has said he will appeal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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