By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON – A special grand jury in Georgia probing former U.S. President Donald Trump’s alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat there issued subpoenas to Senator Lindsey Graham and Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
A judge also ordered the testimony of other Trump legal team members Jenna Ellis, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell and Jacki Deason.
Representatives of Graham and Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Ellis, Eastman, Mitchell and Deason could not be reached for comment.
The subpoenas were filed on Tuesday and signed off by Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who was overseeing the special grand jury.
The special grand jury was selected in May to consider evidence in a Georgia prosecutor’s inquiry into Trump’s alleged efforts to influence the U.S. state’s 2020 election results.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis had requested the special jury in January in part due to its subpoena power, which she argued was needed to compel witness testimony.
The probe was launched after Trump was recorded in a Jan. 2, 2021 phone call pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn the state’s election results based on unfounded claims of voter fraud.
During the phone call, Trump urged Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a fellow Republican, to “find” enough votes to overturn his Georgia loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
The transcript of the call quotes Trump telling Raffensperger: “I just want to find 11,780 votes,” which is the number Trump needed to win Georgia.
Trump has denied wrongdoing in the phone call.
Legal experts have said Trump’s phone calls may have violated at least three state election laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud and intentional interference with performance of election duties.
Separately, the vice chair of the congressional panel investigating last year’s attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters said on Sunday it could make multiple referrals to the Justice Department seeking criminal charges against the former president.
(Corrects first name of Trump’s legal team member Jacki Deason in paragraph 2)
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot)