Under judge’s order, Giuliani testifies in Georgia 2020 election investigation

Rudolph W. Giuliani arriving at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta
Rudolph W. Giuliani arrives at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on Wednesday to testify before a special grand jury.
(John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Rudolph W. Giuliani faced a special grand jury Wednesday under a judge’s order to appear before the panel investigating attempts by former President Trump and others to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia.

News cameras swarmed Giuliani as he stepped out of a limousine Wednesday morning with his attorney, Robert Costello, and walked up the steps into the Fulton County courthouse. Giuliani told reporters that he would not talk about his testimony.

“Grand juries, as I recall, are secret,” the former federal prosecutor said on CNN. “They ask the questions, and we’ll see.”


It’s unclear how much the former New York mayor and Trump attorney is willing to say now that his lawyers have been informed that he’s a target of the investigation. Grand jury secrecy rules prohibit those present during testimony from discussing it, but that prohibition does not apply to witnesses.

Giuliani’s appearance is another high-profile step in an escalating investigation that has ensnared several Trump allies and brought heightened scrutiny to the desperate failed efforts to overturn President Biden’s 2020 victory over Trump. It’s one of several investigations into Trump’s actions as he lays the groundwork for another possible run for the White House in 2024.

Fulton County Dist. Atty. Fani Willis opened her investigation after the disclosure of a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which the then-president urged Raffensperger to “find” the exact number of votes that would be needed to flip the election results in Georgia.

A judge in New York has ordered Rudolph W. Giuliani to appear next month before a special grand jury in Atlanta.

July 20, 2022

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and has described the call as “perfect.”

Willis filed petitions last month to compel testimony from seven Trump associates and advisors. She has said she’s considering calling Trump to testify, and the former president has hired a legal team in Atlanta that includes a prominent criminal defense attorney.


In seeking Giuliani’s testimony, Willis noted that he was a personal attorney for Trump and a lead attorney for his 2020 campaign.

She noted in a petition that Giuliani and others had appeared at a state Senate committee meeting in late 2020, and presented a video that Giuliani said showed election workers producing “suitcases” of unlawful ballots from unknown sources, outside the view of election poll watchers.

The claims of fraud were debunked by Georgia election officials within 24 hours. Yet Giuliani continued to make statements to the public and in legislative hearings claiming widespread election fraud and using the debunked video, Willis noted in her filing.

‘Pressuring public servants into betraying their oath was a fundamental part of the playbook,’ said committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).

June 21, 2022

Two election workers in the video, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, said they faced relentless harassment online and in person after the video was shown at the Dec. 3 Georgia legislative hearing in which Giuliani appeared.

At a hearing a week later, Giuliani said Freeman and Moss could be seen in the video “surreptitiously passing around USB ports as if they are vials of heroin or cocaine.” The pair were actually sharing candy.

Willis wrote in the court filing that Giuliani’s legislative hearing appearances and testimony were “part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

Willis also wrote in a petition seeking the testimony of attorney Kenneth Chesebro that he had worked with Giuliani to coordinate and carry out a plan to have 16 Georgia Republicans serve as fake electors. The 16 people signed a certificate declaring falsely that Trump had won the election and that they were the state’s “duly elected and qualified” electors, even though Biden had won the state and a slate of Democratic electors had been certified.

Giuliani’s attorneys tried to delay his appearance before the special grand jury, saying he was unable to fly because of heart stent surgery in early July.

But Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury, said during a hearing last week that Giuliani needed to be in Atlanta on Wednesday and could travel by bus, car or train if necessary.

Asked how he made the trip, Giuliani told reporters: “I’ll give you one answer: I didn’t walk.”

Other Trump allies have also been swept up in the probe.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) received a subpoena ordering him to appear for testimony Aug. 23. Graham has challenged that subpoena, citing his protections as a member of Congress. A judge Monday rejected that argument and said he must testify. Graham has said he’ll appeal.

Willis has indicated she is interested in calls in which Graham and Raffensberger discussed Georgia’s results in the weeks after the election.