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Former Trump aide Meadows seeks to block Georgia election probe subpoena

Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows at the America First Policy Institute’s America First Agenda Summit in Washington, DC, Monday, July 25, 2022.

Al-Draco | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has asked a South Carolina judge to block a subpoena demanding his testimony before a Georgia grand jury investigating possible criminal interference in the election 2020 presidential.

Meadows’ request on Monday afternoon came hours after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas temporarily delayed a similar subpoena the same grand jury had issued to Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS. vs.

The grand jury is investigating former President Donald Trump and others for possible crimes related to efforts to get Georgia election officials to effectively reverse President Joe Biden’s victory in the state’s 2020 race.

Meadows was on the phone during a call in January 2021 when Trump urged Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” Trump enough votes to win the state.

A spokesperson for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia, which oversees evidence presented to the grand jury, said a prosecutor from that office will address Meadows’ efforts at a Wednesday court hearing in Pickens County in South Carolina.

Meadows, a former Republican congressman, resides in South Carolina. Georgia authorities had to file a motion in the South Carolina Court of Common Pleas seeking to compel him to travel to Atlanta to comply with the subpoena.

In a Monday filing in the court’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Meadows attorney James Bannister opposed the motion for several reasons.

Bannister said the subpoena was moot because it required Meadows to appear before the grand jury on September 27.

However, a Fulton County prosecutor said a “scheduling conflict” delayed Meadows’ testimony date, according to an affidavit filed Tuesday. Prosecutors have suggested rescheduling the appearance for November 9, 15 or 30.

Bannister also wrote that South Carolina’s law relating to securing the presence of witnesses for another state in a criminal proceeding “does not apply to a subpoena” such as that issued for Meadows under a Georgian civil status.

The grand jury in this case does not have the power to criminally indict individuals but can recommend charges.

Bannister also wrote that Meadows is not a “material witness” under South Carolina law because in a case pending in federal court, he claimed executive privilege arguing that he should not be forced to testify before the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6. , 2021, Capitol riot by Trump supporters.

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The attorney also wrote that Meadows “reserves the right to present additional information necessary for a proper determination of the issues before the court.”

Bannister did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

A spokesperson for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis declined to comment.

Trump ally Graham lost a bid last week at the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit to temporarily block his own grand jury subpoena, which ordered him to appear to testify Nov. 17.

On Friday, Graham asked Thomas to delay executing the subpoena pending the outcome of his appeal of its legality.

Thomas, who has authority over 11th Circuit emergency requests, granted the request on Monday. The order to postpone the subpoena is not a final decision on its legality.

Graham argued that he should not be compelled to testify before the grand jury because it would violate the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, which protects members of Congress from legal risk related to their comments related to legislative business.

A federal district court judge rejected that argument. The judge at the same time ordered that Willis’ prosecutors cannot question Graham about parts of a call he made after Election Day 2020 to Raffensperger that could be considered legislative activity.

The appeals court, in upholding the judge’s decision, noted “there is a significant dispute over whether [Graham’s] the phone calls with Georgia election officials were legislative inquiries. »


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