Rudy Giuliani was told by Georgia prosecutors that he was the target of the special purpose grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump and his allies broke the law in their effort to overturn Georgia’s 2020 election results.
A prosecutor from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office called Giuliani’s attorney in Georgia on Monday to advise that Giuliani is now considered a target of their investigation, said Bob Costello, another attorney for Giuliani.
“It comes after we asked him probably six or seven times ‘if Giuliani was a target,’ Costello said. He said the district attorney’s office had previously declined to answer that question.
Giuliani’s development marks the first time a close Trump adviser has been made aware he is the target of a criminal investigation into the then-president’s inner circle in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. Georgia jury and the Justice Department are investigating post-election efforts to help Trump keep his job.
Giuliani’s status became public Monday alongside other developments in the Georgia investigation – with a court decision that Senator Lindsey Graham must testify – as well as in several other criminal investigations involving the ex-president and his advisers.
These include the investigation into the handling of classified records at Mar-a-Lago after the Trump presidency and the federal grand jury investigating Jan. 6.
The January 6 federal grand jury subpoenaed Eric Herschman, a former attorney and senior White House adviser to Trump, CNN and other media reported Monday.
Giuliani being told by prosecutors that he is the target of the investigation was first reported by The New York Times. The district attorney’s office declined to comment to CNN for this story.
Costello told CNN that while Giuliani “will appear before the grand jury,” he made no promises about his client’s responsiveness.
“If they want to play hardball, we know how to play hardball,” Costello said.
Costello said he made it clear to the Fulton County prosecutor that his client would not answer questions about conversations between Giuliani and Trump, but declined to say whether Giuliani would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. .
“If you think he’s going to tell you about conversations he had with his client, you’re delusional,” Costello said. It all, he says, “depends on the questions they ask.”
As for Giuliani’s response to the special grand jury target, he added, “I don’t think he was surprised. He has no faith or belief in this Fulton grand jury process. It’s a political stunt.
On Monday afternoon, the former mayor of New York addressed the development on his podcast, “The Rudy Giuliani Show.” “They’ve now told me I’m the target — I’m the target of their investigation in Atlanta,” Giuliani said.
“If I remember correctly, I appeared in Georgia as an attorney for Donald J. Trump, so I’m going to be sued for what I did as an attorney.”
Giuliani, who served as Trump’s attorney in the 2020 election, was ordered by an Atlanta-area judge to appear in person before the special grand jury this week.
Giuliani was subpoenaed in July and a New York judge ordered the former mayor to testify before Georgia’s special grand jury after he failed to appear for a hearing in New York to block the assignment. The former New York mayor also tried unsuccessfully to delay his appearance, saying he shouldn’t fly after undergoing heart stent surgery last month.
Giuliani met with Georgia state lawmakers three times in December 2020 the day after the presidential election — twice in person and once remotely. During the meetings, Giuliani spread conspiracy theories about widespread irregularities and fraud in the state. Among his many false claims, Giuliani accused two Atlanta election officials of passing fraudulent ballots for Joe Biden in suitcases.
Democratic state legislators previously told CNN grand jury testimony they were asked to give as part of the district attorney’s investigation that covered Giuliani’s conduct. They said they testified about Giuliani’s appearance at a Georgia Senate subcommittee hearing on December 3, 2020, during which Giuliani pushed false allegations of mass voter fraud.
Many state and federal officials have debunked Giuliani’s fraud allegations in Georgia, a state Biden won by nearly 12,000 votes. Byung “Bjay” Pak, the former chief federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Georgia, was among those who testified before the United States House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection that allegations of Giuliani’s election fraud in Fulton County had been investigated by federal authorities and found to be false.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat, detailed the sweeping scope of the investigation, saying it includes a “potential solicitation of voter fraud, making false statements to state government bodies and premises, conspiracy, racketeering, breach of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the administration of the election”.
This story was updated with additional developments on Monday.