Giuliani targeted in election criminal probe

Rudy Giuliani, former US president Donald Trump’s personal lawyer who helped lead challenges to the 2020 election results, says he is a target in a criminal probe in Georgia examining attempts by Mr Trump and his allies to overturn the election.

Mr Giuliani is scheduled to testify on Wednesday before a special grand jury in Fulton County, encompassing most of Atlanta, after a judge ordered him to comply with a subpoena.

During a daily talk show he hosts on WABC radio in New York on Monday, Mr Giuliani claimed the investigation was politically motivated and said Atlanta was “well known for corruption”, without elaborating.

The New York Times had earlier reported the development, citing Mr Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello.

In an interview with Reuters, Mr Costello said prosecutors informed Mr Giuliani’s lawyers on Monday afternoon that he was a target. He said Mr Giuliani would refuse to answer any questions about Mr Trump that would violate attorney-client privilege.

Mr Giuliani appeared before state lawmakers in December 2020, echoing Mr Trump’s false conspiracy theories about stolen ballots and urging them not to certify Democratic President Joe Biden’s victory.

The Fulton County probe began after a January 2021 recorded phone call in which Mr Trump urged the state’s top election official to “find” enough votes to alter the outcome. The former president has repeatedly asserted falsely that he won Georgia, as well as the 2020 presidential contest.

The special grand jury was convened in May at the request of county District Attorney Fani Willis, in part due to its subpoena power.

Mr Giuliani, a former crime-fighting lawyer and the former mayor of New York City, was among several Trump advisers and lawyers who received subpoenas from the grand jury last month.

Mr Trump faces a litany of probes into his conduct. In addition to the Georgia case, a congressional panel is investigating his involvement in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.

Last week, the FBI seized classified documents from his Florida estate that he was suspected of removing from the White House. A search warrant released publicly on Friday said federal authorities were investigating possible violations of the Espionage Act, among other laws.

In New York, the attorney-general’s office and the Manhattan district attorney’s office are conducting parallel civil and criminal investigations into whether Mr Trump improperly inflated the value of his businesses.

Mr Trump refused to answer questions from the New York attorney-general’s office last week, citing his constitutional right not to incriminate himself.


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