Trump’s legal adviser. Order to testify in election inquiry

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ATLANTA (AP) – A judge in Colorado on Tuesday ordered a legal adviser for former President Donald Trump’s campaign to testify for a trip to Georgia. special grand jury he is looking what Trump and others tried to illegally influence the 2020 election in Georgia.

Judge Gregory Lamons made the decision after a hearing in Fort Collins, Colorado. a request from Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis to force testimony from Attorney Jenna Ellis. According to testimony in court, prosecutors are interested in Ellis’ role in helping to coordinate and plan legislative hearings in Georgia and other states where false allegations of election fraud were pushed.

Fulton County prosecutors have purchased plane tickets and made a hotel reservation in preparation for Ellis to testify on Aug. 25.

The investigation, prompted by a phone call in January 2021 between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Riffensperger, began early last year. During that call, Trump suggested that Riffensperger might “find” the vote to reverse his narrow electoral loss in the state. Since the sitting of the special grand jury in May, it has become clear that the focus of the investigation extends far beyond that call.

willis Petitions filed last month With the judge overseeing the special grand jury solicited testimony from seven Trump aides and advisers, including Ellis, US Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former New York mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani. because they don’t live in Georgia, that had to use a procedure This includes getting a judge in the state where they are located to order them to appear before a special grand jury in Atlanta.

Giuliani, who has been notified that he is a target investigated, is set to testify before the special grand jury on Wednesday. Graham’s summons orders him to testify on August 23, but he has said he will appeal the judge’s order Monday to nullify his summons.

In the petition seeking Ellis’ testimony, Willis identified him as “an advocate for the Trump campaign’s legal efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

Ellis appears with Giuliani at the state Senate committee hearing at the Georgia Capitol on December 3, 2020, during which false allegations of election fraud were made, Willis wrote. He also wrote at least two legal memos to Trump and his lawyers, advising that then-Vice President Mike Pence “should disregard certified Electoral College votes from Georgia and other allegedly ‘selected’ states” when Congress 6 To certify the election results on Jan. , 2021, the petition said.

Evidence suggests that Ellis’ action was “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 wrote.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the special grand jury, signed Willis’ petitions to order Ellis and other Trump aides to testify. He issued the so-called physical witness certificates, saying that they are “necessary and physical” witnesses for the special grand jury investigation.

The Lamans, Colorado judge, heard arguments from Ellis’ attorney, Michael Melito, and prosecutor Don Downs, with the Larimer County District Attorney’s office in Colorado, in a hearing that was streamed online. Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Will Wooten appeared on video conference from Atlanta as a witness to testify why Ellis’ presence was necessary.

Lammons found that there is substantial evidence that Ellis is a physical witness and no evidence that traveling to Atlanta for a day of testimony would be an undue burden. He added that any issues of attorney-client privilege raised by Ellis must be addressed by Judge McBurney in Georgia.

The special grand jury functions in secret and does not have the power to issue an indictment. After completion of its investigation, it will issue a report with recommendations. Willis will then have to decide whether to go to a regular grand jury to seek an indictment.

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