Mark Meadows Court Ordered to Testify in Georgia 2020 Election Interference Investigation |  CNN Politics

Mark Meadows Court Ordered to Testify in Georgia 2020 Election Interference Investigation | CNN Politics


A South Carolina judge ruled on Wednesday that former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows must appear to testify in the Atlanta-area grand jury’s 2020 election interference investigation. .

“I will find that the witness is material and necessary to the investigation and that the State of Georgia assures us not to cause him undue hardship,” said Judge Edward Miller, who sits on the county’s Court of Common Pleas. of Pickens, in the south of the country. Caroline – said after a hearing on Wednesday morning.

The case was before the South Carolina judge because Meadows now lives in South Carolina and Atlanta-area prosecutors sought an order compelling him to comply with the subpoena.

Meadows plans to appeal the decision, his attorney James Bannister told CNN.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, which is leading the grand jury special investigation in Georgia, said in court documents that there were several dates in November when they could accommodate Meadows’ testimony.

Meadows’ arguments as to why he shouldn’t have to comply with a subpoena were met with skepticism by the South Carolina judge, who questioned the relevance of some of the evidence that Meadows’ attorney attempted to present at the hearing, which lasted less than an hour. . Miller also stepped in when a question Bannister posed to a prosecutor involved in the Atlanta investigation suggested a partisan motivation for the investigation.

“This is not a political hearing,” Miller told Bannister, calling the line of inquiry “far removed” from the dispute in the South Carolina court.

The judge said some of the legal arguments raised by Meadows were allegations that could be considered by other courts, but were not relevant to the decision before him.

Mark Meadows, left, and Phil Waldron.

CNN reporter details Meadows texts from pro-Trump operative

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is leading the special grand jury investigation into attempts to manipulate Georgia’s 2020 election results. The investigation was sparked by the infamous call between Trump and the Georgian secretary of state, in which Trump asked Secretary Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes that would ensure his victory. But the investigation grew to include the fake voter conspiracy, presentations made by Trump allies to Georgia lawmakers that promoted bogus claims of voter fraud and other Trump world machinations of this period.

Atlanta-area investigators, in demanding Meadows’ testimony, point to his involvement in the Trump-Raffensperger appeal and a December 2020 meeting at the White House over the voter fraud allegations that were touted by Meadows. Their documents also refer to his visit to a site where an election audit in Georgia was underway and to emails Meadows sent to Justice Department officials about unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.

Meadows, in court filings, argued that the South Carolina law that the Fulton County district attorney is using to compel his appearance does not apply to the subpoena in question. Meadow’s attorney also highlighted executive privilege concerns during the hearing, noting his pending lawsuit in federal court challenging a Jan. 6 House Select Committee subpoena.

Will Wooten — an assistant district attorney in Willis’ office who testified as a witness at the hearing — noted that Meadows apparently traveled to the Georgia audit site alone. “There are several places where there is no executive privilege issue,” Wooten said.

Other former Trump allies, including his then-lawyer Jenna Ellis, have issued similar challenges to the Fulton County inquest’s subpoenas – but so far have mostly failed. However, a Texas attorney who participated in presentations to Georgia lawmakers was able to defeat Willis’ office in such a subpoena dispute.

A bid by Senator Lindsey Graham to end a subpoena in the inquest for her testimony is currently before the United States Supreme Court.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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