Rudy Giuliani said a recent procedure prevented him from flying to testify before a grand jury.
But local prosecutors in Georgia pointed to evidence he’d traveled recently.
A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday on Giuliani’s request to delay his grand jury testimony.
A week before Rudy Giuliani was set to appear before a grand jury in Georgia, his lawyers contacted local prosecutors to inform them that a recent medical procedure would prevent the former New York City mayor from flying to Atlanta, according to court records.
But his request to delay the Tuesday grand jury appearance was met with little sympathy from the office of Fanni Willis, the Fulton County district attorney investigating former President Donald Trump’s efforts to flip his 2020 election loss in Georgia. Willis’ office responded instead with receipts — and a tweet from New Hampshire — suggesting that Giuliani was, in fact, having no trouble traveling.
In a court filing Monday, local prosecutors in Georgia said they had obtained records showing that Giuliani had “purchased multiple airline tickets with cash, including tickets to Rome, Italy, and Zurich, Switzerland,” for flights between July 22 and July 29. (Willis’ office stopped short of stating that Giuliani took those flights.)
“All of those dates were after the witness’s medical procedure,” a prosecutor wrote, referring to Giuliani, on the eve of his scheduled grand jury appearance.
“Finally,” the prosecutor added, “in light of the letter provided to the district attorney suggesting that the witness is not cleared for air travel, the district attorney offered to provide alternative methods of travel for the witness, including bus or train fare.” The filing included a screenshot of a August 1 social media post picturing Giuliani in New Hampshire.
A Fulton County judge responded by setting a 12:30 pm hearing Tuesday on Giuliani’s “emergency” request to delay his grand jury appearance. A lawyer for Giuliani, William H. Thomas Jr., declined to comment.
In a separate court filing Monday, Thomas conceded that Giuliani had traveled from New York to New Hampshire following his unspecified medical procedure. But he emphasized, in italics, that Giuliani made the trip “by a private car in which he was the passenger.”
Pointing to a doctor’s note, Thomas said it was “air travel that he was not cleared for.” But Willis’ office, he wrote, “remained firm in their refusal to agree to a continuance.” Thomas added that Giuliani would appear virtually before the grand jury, but Willis’ office has demanded in-person testimony.
“It is important to note here that Mr. Giuliani is [sic] no way seeking to inappropriately delay, or obstruct these proceedings or avoid giving evidence or testimony that is not subject to some claim of privilege in this matter,” Thomas wrote. “Stated another way, he is and has been willing to cooperate in this matter subject to any ethical obligations that may preclude that cooperation.”
Fani Willis’ aggressive moves
The court filings Monday shed light on a dispute between local prosecutors in Georgia and Giuliani’s lawyers in the buildup to his scheduled appearance before the grand jury investigating Trump and his allies’ election interference in the state.
As part of the inquiry, local prosecutors are examining a now-infamous phone call Trump made to Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensberger, urging him to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss to Joe Biden.
Willis has moved aggressively in recent weeks. In addition to winning a court battle forcing Giuliani to testify before a grand jury, her office has pursued fake electors who supported Trump and subpoenaed Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, prompting legal observers to view the Georgia investigation as among the most perilous for the former president.
Following the 2020 election, Giuliani was among the former president’s allies who participated in a scheme to create slates of so-called alternate slates of pro-Trump electors in key battlegrounds states including Georgia. Court filings have revealed that Willis’ office informed all 16 pro-Trump electors in Georgia that they could face charges in connection with the criminal investigation.
In December 2020, Giuliani appeared in person before a pair of committees in Georgia’s state legislature, where he spent hours peddling false conspiracy theories about election fraud. “You cannot possibly certify Georgia in good faith,” he reportedly told lawmakers.
The House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has also highlighted Giuliani’s efforts in Georgia. In June, one of the committee’s public hearings featured testimony from Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election official, who was the target of a conspiracy theory Trump and Giuliani spread alleging that she processed fake ballots for Biden.
“It’s turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card… I don’t want anyone knowing my name,” Moss said, in emotional testimony before the House January 6 panel. “I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all. I’ve gained about 60 pounds. I just don’t do nothing anymore.”
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