By KATE BRUMBACK
ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia prosecutor investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to interfere in the 2020 election filed paperwork Friday seeking to compel testimony from a new batch of Trump allies, including former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis filed petitions seeking to have Gingrich and Flynn, as well as former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann and others, testify next month before a special grand jury that’s been seated to aid her investigation.
They join a string of other high-profile Trump allies and advisers who have been called to testify in the probe. Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and Trump attorney who’s been told he could face criminal charges in the probe, testified in August. U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s attempt to fight his subpoena is pending in a federal appeals court.
A lawyer for Flynn did not immediately return an email seeking comment. Gingrich did not immediately respond to a voicemail left on his cellphone. Herschmann could not immediately be reached for comment.
Willis has said she plans to take a monthlong break from public activity in the case leading up to the November midterm election, which is one month from Saturday.
Each of the petitions filed Friday seeks to have the potential witnesses appear in November after the election. But the process for securing testimony from out-of-state witnesses sometimes takes a while, so it appears Willis is putting the wheels in motion for activity to resume after her self-imposed pause.
When she wants to compel testimony from witnesses who 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 Friday are essentially precursors to subpoenas.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who’s overseeing the special grand jury, signed off on the petitions, certifying that each person whose testimony is sought is a “necessary and material” witness for the investigation.
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