South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Edward Miller ruled Wednesday that Meadows must comply with a subpoena because his testimony is “material and necessary to the investigation and that the State of Georgia assures us not to not cause him undue harm”.
The decision was confirmed Wednesday by Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for Willis. DiSantis said Meadows would not be called up until after the midterm elections.
A lawyer for Meadows said on Wednesday there was the possibility of further appeal or legal action.
“There may be additional proceedings before the trial judge before a decision is made on an appeal,” Meadows attorney George J. Terwilliger said.
Meadows, who served four terms as a congressman from North Carolina before becoming Trump’s White House chief of staff, helped promote Trump’s baseless claims that widespread voter fraud handed the presidency to Joe Biden. Meadows said he now lives in South Carolina, although he registered to vote in 2020 using the address of a North Carolina trailer.
In his petition requesting Meadows’ testimony, Willis noted Meadows’ participation in a phone call Trump made on January 2, 2021 to Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) asking him to “find” 11,780 votes that would would defeat Joe Biden as it stands.
‘I just want to find 11,780 votes’: In extraordinary hour-long call, Trump pressures Georgian secretary of state to recalculate vote in his favor
Willis wrote that she was also interested in testimony regarding a Dec. 21, 2020, meeting Meadows attended at the White House with Trump and others “to discuss voter fraud allegations and certification of college votes. voters in Georgia and other states”.
Willis also noted in the petition that on Dec. 22, 2020, Meadows “made a surprise visit” to the Cobb County Civic Center in Marietta, Georgia, where the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office and Bureau of Investigation of Georgia were conducting a mail survey. verification of the consistency of the signatures of the ballot papers.
There, Meadows “asked to personally observe the audit process but was prevented from doing so because the audit was not open to the public,” Willis wrote.
Meadows had sought to kill Georgia’s subpoena by invoking executive privilege and arguing that Georgia’s special grand jury is conducting a civil investigation and not a criminal proceeding that would require his testimony. Willis said the investigation – conducted by a special grand jury – was criminal in nature.
Meadows’ South Carolina attorney, James W. Bannister, argued in court filings that the subpoena was moot because the September date when his testimony was originally requested had passed.
The Meadows ruling came on Wednesday as another prominent Republican, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (SC), appealed to the Supreme Court to block a request for her testimony.
Graham argued that he is protected from having to testify by the constitutional protections provided to lawmakers conducting official business.
Judge Clarence Thomas suspended an order for Graham to appear on Monday. The brief order appears to be an attempt to maintain the status quo as Graham’s Supreme Court petition progresses. Prosecutors face a Thursday deadline to respond to Graham’s request, which usually means the full court will consider the matter.
Last week, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit rejected an attempt by Graham to block a Willis subpoena in which lawmakers claimed a sitting senator was protected from testifying in such investigations.
Despite resistance from Graham, Meadows and others, the Georgia grand jury heard testimony from prominent Trump advisers, including attorneys Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman. Testimony requests are pending from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser.
Many Georgia Republican officials have already testified. The list includes Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) and his staff, Georgia Attorney General Christopher M. Carr (R), state lawmakers and local election workers. The state’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp filed a 121-page motion in August seeking to kill a subpoena demanding his testimony. The investigating judge has agreed to delay the governor’s appearance until after the 2022 election. Kemp is seeking re-election.
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