By KATE BRUMBACK
ATLANTA (AP) — The prosecutor who’s investigating whether Donald Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence the 2020 election in Georgia is seeking to compel testimony from more allies of the former president, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows and lawyer Sidney Powell.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Thursday filed petitions seeking to have Meadows and Powell, as well as Meadows contact James “Phil” Waldron and former Trump campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn, testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta next month.
Seeking testimony from Meadows, who was Trump’s final White House chief of staff, signifies that the investigation is getting even closer to the former president. Willis has said she’s considering calling Trump himself to testify before the special grand jury.
Because they don’t live in Georgia, Willis has to use a process that involves getting judges in the states where they live to order them to appear. The petitions she filed Thursday are essentially precursors to subpoenas.
In the petition seeking Meadows’ testimony, Willis wrote that Meadows attended a Dec. 21, 2020, meeting at the White House with Trump and others “to discuss allegations of voter fraud and certification of electoral college votes from Georgia and other states.” The next day, Willis wrote, Meadows made a “surprise visit” to Cobb County, just outside Atlanta, where an audit of signatures on absentee ballot envelopes was being conducted. He asked to observe the audit but wasn’t allowed to because it wasn’t open to the public, the petition says.
Between Jan. 30, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021, Meadows sent emails to Justice Department officials making allegations of voter fraud in Georgia and elsewhere and requesting investigations, Willis wrote. He was also on a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, during which Trump suggested the state’s top elections official could “find” enough votes to overturn his narrow election loss in the state.
George Terwilliger, a lawyer for Meadows, declined to comment.
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