The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, which advises the grand jury and sent a prosecutor to the hearing to answer questions, declined to comment.
The arguments took place in Pickens, about 20 miles west of Greenville, as Meadows resides here. Since he doesn’t live in Georgia, the Fulton DA’s office needed a local judge to sign the summons, technically known as a material witness certificate, for it to be enforceable. Like other witnesses who fought their subpoenas, Meadows did not attend the hearing.
The former North Carolina congressman is at the center of several events of grand jury interest, including the infamous January 2, 2021 phone call he helped facilitate between then-President Donald Trump and Secretary of Georgia State Brad Raffensperger.
During the hearing, which was sparsely attended, Bannister peppered Deputy Fulton DA Will Wooten with procedural questions about the workings of the 23-person special grand jury. He also asked about previous challenges by other subpoenaed witnesses, prompting exasperation at times by Miller, who insisted the hearing was not meant to be “political.”
Bannister pointed to Meadows’ ongoing litigation against the U.S. House Jan. 6 Committee in federal court, in which the former Trump aide is invoking executive privilege to claim he is at shelter from testifying.
“Determining whether Mr. Meadows is material or not … should be guided by what emerges from this federal decision in federal court,” Bannister said. “In other words, if executive privilege covers all of these issues, then I would be able to stand in front of you and say ‘judge, nothing they named will be covered by executive privilege, and so he can’t be an important witness because he can’t offer any testimony.
Bannister also adopted an argument that a Texas-based witness for the inquest, attorney and podcast host Jacki Pick, used successfully with Lone Star State judges last month.
Pick’s attorneys argued that Fulton’s special grand jury proceedings were civil, not criminal, as they lacked the power to indict, and she could not subsequently be compelled to testify in court. under the Interstate Guidelines for Witnesses. Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversees the grand jury, said the proceedings were indeed criminal, but several Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judges expressed skepticism in their ruling on the challenge. Pick.
In another echo of Pick’s strategy, Bannister argued that Meadow’s summons was now moot, since his originally scheduled September 27 testimony date had come and gone. But Miller appeared unmoved.
The Fulton District Attorney’s Office offered to reschedule Meadows’ testimony to one of four alternate dates after the November election in a recent affidavit.
The original petition requesting Meadows’ testimony was approved in late August.
In addition to Raffensperger’s appeal, prosecutors said they would like to ask Meadows about his surprise visit to a Cobb County audit of mail-in ballot signatures in December 2020. Another interesting meeting is a meeting December 21, 2020 White House meeting that Meadows attended with Trump and members of Congress, during which certification of votes from the Georgia Electoral College and elsewhere was reportedly discussed.
Wooten said Wednesday that prosecutors are also interested in emails Meadows sent to senior Justice Department officials in late 2020 making allegations of voter fraud in Georgia, as well as Meadows’ “unique knowledge of the coordination, execution and communications” regarding the above events.
Even though Meadows has avoided testifying thus far, his former aide Cassidy Hutchinson is believed to have been cooperating with Fulton’s prosecutors. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
MEADOWS AND THE FULTON GRAND JURY
Fulton investigators say they are interested in interviewing former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows about several events he was involved in after the 2020 election. Among them:
– His attendance at a Dec. 21, 2020 meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump, members of Congress, and others in which they allegedly discussed voter fraud and Georgia Electoral College vote certification and other states.
– His unannounced appearance during an audit of absentee ballot signatures in Cobb County on Dec. 22, 2020.
– His involvement in the Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
– Emails he sent to senior Justice Department officials in late 2020 in which he made allegations of voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere and called for an investigation.
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