Giuliani says he 'satisfied' his obligation to testify before Georgia grand jury

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Rudy Giuliani arrives at the Fulton County Courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Atlanta. Giuliani is scheduled to testify before a special grand jury that is investigating attempts by former President Donald Trump and others to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Rudolph W. Giuliani arrives at a courthouse in Atlanta on Wednesday to testify before a special grand jury. (John Bazemore / Associated Press)

Rudolph W. Giuliani said Wednesday that he had “satisfied his obligation” after facing hours of questioning Wednesday before a special grand jury in Atlanta as a target of an investigation into attempts by former President Trump and others to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Giuliani said Fulton County Dist. Atty. Fani Willis ended his appearance by saying he had “satisfied his obligation under the subpoena.”

“So I was very happy that I satisfied my obligation,” he said.

Speaking upon his return to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Giuliani didn't provide any additional details about his appearance or testimony, including the type of questions he was asked. He was pushed through the terminal in a wheelchair alongside his lawyer, Bob Costello.

Giuliani’s attorneys tried to delay his appearance before the special grand jury, saying he was unable to fly because of heart stent surgery in early July. On Wednesday, Giuliani said: “My plane ride was OK,” and noted that it was his first since the heart procedure.

Costello said the session, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a half-hour lunch, “went very well. No disputes.” Costello did not immediately address whether Giuliani answered questions or declined.

“Everyone was a lady or gentleman. Professional,” Costello wrote in a text message, adding that Willis came out to greet Giuliani and his lawyers at the end.

The investigation by the Democratic prosecutor has brought heightened scrutiny to the desperate and ultimately failed efforts to overturn President Biden’s 2020 election win. It’s one of several investigations into Trump’s actions in office as he lays the groundwork for another run at the White House in 2024.

Willis opened her investigation after the disclosure of a remarkable Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. On the call, Trump suggested that Raffensperger could “find” the exact number of votes that would be needed to flip the election results in Georgia.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing. He has described the call as “perfect.”

Willis last month filed petitions to compel testimony from seven Trump associates and advisors. She has also said she’s considering calling Trump himself to testify, and the former president has hired a legal team in Atlanta that includes a prominent criminal defense attorney.

Other Trump allies swept up in the inquiry include Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). His attorneys filed a legal motion Wednesday asking a federal judge to put Graham’s special grand jury appearance, set for Tuesday, on hold while he appeals an order compelling him to testify.

Prosecutors want to ask Graham about phone calls they say he made to Raffensperger and his staff in the weeks following the vote.

Graham’s lawyers, including former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn, are fighting the subpoena in federal court. They argue that Graham’s position in Congress protects him from having to appear before the grand jury. A federal judge rejected that notion and ordered the senator to testify. Graham has said he plans to appeal.

Also Wednesday, lawyers for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp asked the judge overseeing the special grand jury to quash a subpoena for him to testify Thursday. Kemp, a Republican, had been scheduled to sit for a voluntary video-recorded interview with the district attorney's office July 25, but Willis' team canceled that and issued a subpoena after Kemp's attorneys asked about the scope of the interview, Kemp's motion says.

Kemp's lawyers accused Willis' team of using “delay and artificial deadlines” to cause the governor's “interaction with the investigation to reach a crescendo in the middle of an election cycle.” They say it was issued “for political, rather than investigative, reasons.”

Kemp faces a rematch against Democrat Stacey Abrams in the November general election.

Willis’ office declined comment, but Willis was direct in a July letter to Kemp attorney Brian McEvoy that he filed with the court: “You repeatedly referring to it as a politically motivated investigation, does not make it so. In fact, you repeating it so many times only proves you have become very comfortable being dishonest.”

In seeking Giuliani’s testimony, Willis noted that he was both a personal lawyer for Trump and a lead attorney for his 2020 campaign.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.