- Rudy Giuliani said a recent trial prevented him from testifying before a grand jury.
- But local Georgia prosecutors pointed to evidence he had recently travelled.
- A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday on Giuliani’s request to delay his testimony before the grand jury.
A week before Rudy Giuliani was scheduled to appear before a Georgia grand jury, his attorneys contacted local prosecutors to inform them that a recent medical procedure would prevent the former New York City mayor from flying to Atlanta, according to court records .
However, his request to delay the grand jury’s appearance on Tuesday drew little sympathy from the office of Fanni Willis, the Fulton County district attorney who is investigating former President Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election loss in Georgia. Willis’ office instead responded with receipts — and a tweet from New Hampshire — that suggested Giuliani actually had no trouble traveling.
In a court filing filed Monday, local Georgia prosecutors said they received records showing that Giuliani “purchased multiple airline tickets with cash, including tickets to Rome, Italy, and Zurich, Switzerland” for flights between March 22 and April 20. and July 29. Willis’ office paused to explain that Giuliani had taken those flights.)
“All of this data was following the witness’s medical procedure,” a prosecutor wrote on the eve of his scheduled grand jury appearance, referring to Giuliani.
“Finally,” the prosecutor added, “in light of the letter to the district attorney advising that the witness was not approved for air travel, the district attorney offered to provide the witness with alternative travel options, including bus or train travel.” The submission included a screenshot of an Aug. 1 social media post depicting Giuliani in New Hampshire.
A Fulton County judge responded by scheduling a hearing on Giuliani’s “emergency” motion at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to delay his grand jury appearance. An attorney for Giuliani, William H. Thomas Jr., declined to comment.
In a separate court filing Monday, Thomas acknowledged that Giuliani traveled from New York to New Hampshire following his unspecified medical procedure. But he emphasized in italics that Giuliani made the trip “in a private car, in which he was the passenger.”
Thomas pointed to a medical certificate and said it was “air travel for which he was not approved”. But Willis’ office, he wrote, “remained firm in its refusal to agree to a sequel.” Thomas added that Giuliani would appear before the grand jury virtually, but Willis’ office has requested in-person testimony.
“It is important to mention here that Mr. Giuliani is [sic] under no circumstances shall you attempt to unduly delay or impede this proceeding, or avoid giving evidence or testimony which is not entitled to any privileges in this matter,” wrote Thomas. “In other words, he is and has been willing to cooperate on this matter, subject to any ethical obligation that might preclude such cooperation.”
Fani Willis’ aggressive moves
Monday’s court filings shed light on a dispute between local Georgia prosecutors and Giuliani’s attorneys ahead of his scheduled appearance before the grand jury investigating Trump and his allies’ interference in the state’s election.
As part of the probe, local prosecutors are looking into a now-infamous phone call Trump made with Georgia Foreign Minister Brad Raffensberger, urging him to “find” enough votes to reverse his loss to Joe Biden.
Willis has been moving aggressively in recent weeks. In addition to winning a court battle that forced Giuliani to testify before a grand jury, her office has prosecuted false voters who supported Trump and subpoenaed Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, leading legal observers to dismiss the Georgia investigation as one of the most dangerous for the former president.
After the 2020 election, Giuliani was among the former president’s allies who participated in a program to create so-called alternative lists of pro-Trump voters in key battleground states, including Georgia. Court filings have revealed that Willis’s office has notified all 16 pro-Trump Georgia voters that they may be charged in connection with the criminal investigation.
In December 2020, Giuliani appeared in person before two committees of Georgia’s legislature, where he spent hours spreading false conspiracy theories about voter fraud. “You can’t possibly certify Georgia in good faith,” he reportedly told lawmakers.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol has also highlighted Giuliani’s efforts in Georgia. In June, one of the committee’s public hearings included testimony from Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia elections official who was the target of a conspiracy theory promoted by Trump and Giuliani that claimed she edited fake ballots for Biden.
“It turned my life upside down. I don’t give out my business card anymore…I don’t want anyone to know my name,” Moss said in an emotional testimony before the House panel on Jan. 6. “I don’t go shopping at all. I haven’t been anywhere yet. I’ve gained about 60 pounds. I just don’t do anything anymore.”