South Carolina Supreme Court rejects Mark Meadows subpoena challenge, must testify in Georgia election probe

South Carolina's Supreme Court Tuesday rejected former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows' effort to resist an Atlanta-area grand jury subpoena in a wide-ranging investigation of alleged election interference.

In a brief ruling, the court concluded that Meadows' challenge was "manifestly without merit," upholding a lower court's decision last month ordering him to testify before the special investigative panel.

Meadows is a central figure in Donald Trump's unsuccessful effort to flip the 2020 Georgia vote in the former president's favor. He was a party to a January 2021 telephone call in which Trump pressed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" enough votes to deny President Joe Biden victory in the key battleground state.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks on a phone on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Oct. 30, 2020.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks on a phone on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on Oct. 30, 2020.

Meadows' attorneys have disputed the authority of the Fulton County grand jury, asserting that it lacked jurisdiction to issue indictments and, therefore, could not compel a witness to testify in a criminal proceeding.

More: Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows ordered to testify in Georgia election inquiry

More: Atlanta-area DA wants former Trump chief of staff Meadows to testify in election interference probe

Lawyers for the former White House official also said Meadows was shielded from providing testimony in the case because his communications with the former president were privileged.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger resisted pressure from Donald Trump, telling the president his claims of election fraud were false.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger resisted pressure from Donald Trump, telling the president his claims of election fraud were false.

Meadows is among a number of high-profile Trump aides and advisers who have attempted to resist appearing before the Georgia grand jury. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and former national security adviser Michael Flynn also are pursuing appeals.

Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., testified before the panel after his appeals were rejected. Georgia prosecutors sought to question Graham about his own contacts with state election officials about the 2020 election.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis launched the criminal investigation nearly two years ago based on Trump's recorded telephone call, an inquiry that has now expanded to include conspiracy, racketeering and fraud.

More: Trump Georgia election investigation, with boost from Jan. 6 committee, enters new phase

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Court rejects Mark Meadows' challenge to Ga. subpoena in Trump probe