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Court ordered Mark Meadows to testify in Georgia 2020 election meddling investigation



CNN

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

“I am going to find that the witness is material and necessary to the investigation and that the state of Georgia is making sure not to cause him or her undue hardship,” said Judge Edward Miller, who sits on the Court of Common Pleas in Pickens County, South Carolina,” he said at the end of a hearing on Wednesday morning.

The matter was before the South Carolina judge because Meadows now lives in South Carolina and Atlanta-area prosecutors applied for an order there to enforce the subpoena.

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

The Fulton County district attorney’s office, which is leading the special grand jury investigation in Georgia, said in court documents that there are multiple dates in November that Meadows’ testimony could be accommodated.

Meadows’ arguments about why he shouldn’t have to serve a subpoena were met with skepticism by the South Carolina judge, who questioned the relevance of some of the evidence Meadows’ attorney tried to present at the hearing, which It lasted less than an hour. . Miller also weighed in when a question Bannister put 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 before the South Carolina court.

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

CNN reporter details Meadows texts from a pro-Trump operation

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is leading the special purpose grand jury investigation into attempts to rig the 2020 election results in Georgia. The investigation was prompted by the infamous call between Trump and the Georgia Secretary of State, in which Trump requested that Secretary Brad Raffensperger “find” the votes that would ensure his victory. But the investigation has grown to include the fake voter plot, presentations made by Trump allies to Georgia lawmakers that promoted false claims of voter fraud and other Trump world machinations of that period.

Atlanta-area investigators, demanding testimony from Meadows, point to his involvement in the Trump-Raffensperger call and a December 2020 White House meeting about claims of voter fraud that Meadows touted. His presentations also reference his visit to a site where a Georgia election audit was being conducted and emails Meadows sent to Justice Department officials about unsubstantiated fraud allegations.

Meadows, in court filings, argued that the South Carolina law that the Fulton County district attorney is using to force his appearance does not apply to the citation in question. Meadow’s attorney also emphasized executive privilege concerns at the hearing, noting that his ongoing federal court lawsuit challenges a Jan. 6 House select committee subpoena.

Will Wooten, a deputy district attorney in Willis’ office who testified as a witness at the hearing, said Meadows traveled to the Georgia audit site apparently alone. “There are a number of places where there isn’t an executive privilege issue,” Wooten said.

Other former Trump allies, including his then-lawyer Jenna Ellis, have raised similar challenges to the subpoenas from the Fulton County investigation, but most have so far been unsuccessful. However, a Texas attorney who participated in the presentations to Georgia lawmakers was able to defeat Willis’s office in a subpoena dispute.

A bid by Senator Lindsey Graham to subpoena in the investigation of her testimony is currently before the US Supreme Court.

This story has been updated with additional details.

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