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President Trump asks for the investigation of crimes committed under Giuliani’s watch

The legal pressures on Donald J. Trump and his closest allies intensified on Monday, with prosecutors informing his former personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, that he is a target of a wide-rangin



Situated in the heart of the South, ATLANTA On Monday, prosecutors informed Trump’s former personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, that he is a target of a broad criminal investigation into election interference in Georgia. This adds to the mounting legal pressures facing Trump and his closest allies.

The notification arrived on the same day that Senator Lindsey Graham, another key Trump ally, had his efforts to avoid testifying in front of the special grand jury hearing evidence in the case in Atlanta rejected by a federal judge.

Robert Costello, one of Mr. Giuliani’s attorneys, said in an interview that he was informed of the threat against his client on Monday. Not everyone who is so named is ultimately indicted; rather, it indicates that prosecutors have seen enough evidence to believe that doing so is possible.

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In recent weeks, Mr. Giuliani has emerged as a key figure in the investigation being conducted by Fani T. Willis, the district attorney of Fulton County, Ga., which includes most of Atlanta. Mr. Giuliani served as Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and led efforts to keep him in power.


At the beginning of this summer, prosecutors questioned witnesses before the special grand jury about Mr. Giuliani’s appearances before state legislative panels in December 2020, where he spent hours peddling false conspiracy theories about secret suitcases of Democratic ballots and corrupted voting machines.

This is the latest in a string of problems for Mr. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, though he did receive some good news recently when it became clear that he was unlikely to face charges in a federal criminal inquiry into his ties to Ukraine during the 2020 presidential campaign.

On Wednesday, Mr. Giuliani will travel to a courthouse in downtown Atlanta to face the special grand jury. When asked about his interactions with Trump, Mr. Giuliani’s lawyer, Mr. Costello, said in the interview that he would likely raise the issue of attorney-client privilege. Mr. Costello said, “If these people think he’s going to talk about conversations between him and President Trump, they’re delusional.”

U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May in Atlanta issued a written order rejecting Senator Graham’s attempt to avoid testimony. South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is scheduled to testify on August 23.

It has been determined by the judge that there is “a special need for Mr. Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2022 elections.”


His attorneys have stated that Mr. Graham was told by prosecutors that he was a witness and not a target.

The prosecution needs him to testify for a variety of reasons. There are two phone calls between Mr. Graham and Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, shortly after the 2020 election, in which Mr. Graham asks about invalidating some mail-in votes to aid Mr. Trump.

Mr. Giuliani’s efforts after the election on Mr. Trump’s behalf have backfired in a variety of ways. Video footage of Mr. Giuliani’s activities in Georgia has been highlighted by the House committee in Washington looking into the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, and the Department of Justice is also intensifying their investigation into the scheme to create rival slates of presidential electors. Dominion and Smartmatic, two companies that make voting machines, have filed civil suits against Mr. Giuliani, seeking billions of dollars in damages.

The New York State appellate court that suspended Mr. Giuliani’s law license last year detailed much of his behavior in Georgia. The 33-page report included 35 references to the Peach State and detailed what the court called Mr. Giuliani’s “numerous false and misleading statements regarding the Georgia presidential election results.” The court pointed out that Giuliani had made up claims that thousands of minors had voted in Georgia’s 2020 election without proper identification, despite an audit by the secretary of state revealing that no one under the age of 18 had cast a ballot in that year’s election.

The Trump campaign’s plan to lobby legislators in swing states to appoint electors who did not reflect the will of the voters is also under investigation, with Mr. Giuliani playing a key role in this strategy.


On Monday, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office in Fulton County, Georgia, declined to comment. If Mr. Giuliani were to be indicted, it is unclear what charges he would face. But Ms. Willis has previously stated that multiple defendants could be charged with racketeering or conspiracy if her investigation continues.

An attorney who represented the House Judiciary Committee during Trump’s first impeachment and trial, Norman Eisen, speculated that Trump himself might be next if Rudy Giuliani is singled out as a target.

Mr. Eisen stated in an interview on Monday that “there is no way Giuliani is a target of the D.A.’s investigation and Trump does not end up as one.” They are “just too factually and legally entangled” in their attempt to use fake electors and other means to overturn the results in Georgia.

Mr. Giuliani’s attorneys have stated that their client did nothing wrong in Georgia and is ready to cooperate with investigators. However, they have been fighting with Ms. Willis’s office over her attempts to have him testify before the grand jury. The district attorney’s office has resisted Giuliani’s attorneys’ requests to delay his testimony or have it conducted via video conference after they claimed that their client’s doctor had advised against air travel following a procedure to insert cardiac stents in early July.

After agreeing to postpone Mr. Giuliani’s appearance for more than a week, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert C.I. McBurney said last week that Mr. Giuliani could travel to Atlanta “on a train, on a bus, or Uber,” and set a date for Wednesday. Even if Mr. Giuliani were to be named as a target of the investigation, his attorneys said, he would have little to say.


Another lawyer for Giuliani, William H. Thomas Jr., said after court, “I think it would be meanspirited to make — as a target, to make him travel down here, particularly by these alternative means, when there likely would not be very much testimony before the grand jury.”

Two state senators and the chairman of the state’s Republican Party are among the 17 people named as potential targets in the investigation.

Mr. Graham’s attorneys had argued that he should not have to testify because of the speech and debate clause, which protects legislators from being questioned about statements made in the course of their official duties. The attorneys claimed, among other things, that Mr. Graham, as a high-ranking official, could only be called in “extraordinary circumstances.”

Ultimately, Judge May determined that the prosecution had met their burden of proving the existence of exceptional circumstances.

According to Mr. Graham, his conversations with Mr. Raffensperger were of an investigative nature and directly related to his role as chairman of the Judiciary Committee at the time. To the contrary, the judge wrote in her order that “individuals on the calls have publicly suggested that Senator Graham was not simply engaged in legislative fact-finding” and was instead “seeking to influence Secretary Raffensperger’s actions” to help Mr. Trump. (Mr. Raffensperger claims Mr. Graham appeared to suggest he find a way to throw out legally cast ballots.)


According to Judge May’s ruling, the state court is responsible for deciding which parts of Mr. Graham’s calls are protected by the First Amendment’s speech and debate protections.

However, she also mentioned that the special grand jury could investigate Mr. Graham’s “potential communications and coordination with the Trump campaign and its postelection efforts in Georgia” in addition to the phone calls themselves.

Two other members of the Trump legal team, Jenna Ellis and John Eastman, have been subpoenaed to testify in front of the special grand jury. On Tuesday in Fort Collins, Colorado, a judge will rule on a case that involves Ms. Ellis, a local resident. On Wednesday, a similar hearing for Mr. Eastman, a New Mexico resident, will take place in a courthouse in Santa Fe, N.M.

On Monday, a reporter asked Mr. Costello, Mr. Giuliani’s attorney, what mode of transportation his client would use to travel from New York to Atlanta.

Mr. Costello, however, declined to provide any further commentary.