Here are some of the legal news stories making headlines this week:
There are new developments related to the Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney’s investigation into interference in the 2020 election.
- On Wednesday, Rudy Giuliani testified before a special grand jury. Earlier in the week, DA Fani Willis reportedly informed Rudy Giuliani that he is a target of the criminal investigation. Giuliani led much of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state, including, among other things, appearing before Georgia legislative panels in December 2020.
- On Monday, a federal judge rejected an attempt by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham to avoid testifying in the investigation. The judge wrote that the DA has shown “extraordinary circumstances and a special need for Senator Graham’s testimony on issues relating to alleged attempts to influence or disrupt the lawful administration of Georgia’s 2020 elections.” In the weeks after the election, Graham twice called Georgia election officials. Graham’s legal team argues that his conduct is protected legislative activity under the “Speech or Debate” clause of the Constitution, since he was, at the time, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- The grand jury has already heard testimony from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Willis is also seeking testimony from other members of Trump’s legal team, including, among others, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis, and Cleta Mitchell.
Congress is continuing its investigation into the January 6th attack at the Capitol.
- Since holding the latest public hearing, the House Select Committee has interviewed a number of former Trump administration officials, including, among others, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.
- Former Vice President Mike Pence said that he would consider appearing before the Committee if he received an invitation to testify. “Any invitation directed to me, I would have to reflect on the unique role I was serving in as vice president. It would be unprecedented in history for the vice president to be summoned to testify on Capitol Hill. But as I said, I don’t want to pre-judge. So if any formal invitation was rendered to us, we’d give it due consideration,” Pence said.
- Two leaders of House committees are increasing the pressure on Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari for his handling of the investigation into missing Secret Service text messages from around January 6th, 2021. In a letter, Representatives Carolyn Maloney, chair of the Oversight Committee, and Bennie Thompson, chair of the Homeland Security Committee, criticized Cuffari’s alleged noncompliance with the investigation. “You have refused to produce responsive documents and blocked employees in your office from appearing for transcribed interviews. Your obstruction of the committees’ investigations is unacceptable, and your justifications for this noncompliance appear to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of Congress’s authority and your duties as an inspector general,” the letter said.
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