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Rudy Giuliani, who has managed to embroil himself in two impeachments, at least one ongoing congressional inquiry, and multiple federal and state grand jury investigations, is not known for his temperance and good judgment. And neither are his attorneys.

So it is perhaps unsurprising that Rudy’s lawyers are running their damn mouths on the day their client learned he’s a target — not a subject, not a witness — of a grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia investigating efforts to interfere with the 2020 presidential election.

“If these people think he’s going to talk about conversations between him and President Trump, they’re delusional,” Giuliani’s lawyer Robert Costello scoffed to the New York Times, promising that his client would invoke attorney-client privilege as regards his conversations with Donald Trump when he testifies to the grand jury this coming Wednesday.

William H. Thomas Jr., another attorney for America’s Mayor, sniffed that it would be “meanspirited to make — as a target, to make him travel down here, particularly by these alternative means, when there likely would not be very much testimony before the grand jury,” alluding to Giuliani’s unsuccessful efforts to avoid having to testify in-person citing some vague ailment which prevented him flying anywhere but Rome.

The news of Giuliani’s promotion cannot be welcome news for the other attorneys who pushed widely debunked claims of election fraud in a December 3, 2020 hearing before the Georgia Senate and in phone calls to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger seeking to have him invalidate the certification of Biden’s electoral win. Those attorneys include John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Jenna Ellis, and Senator Lindsey Graham, all of whom have been issued certificates of material witness in the investigation being led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

According to the Times, hearings to compel testimony by Ellis and Eastman will take place this week in Colorado and New Mexico respectively. One assumes that they will show up, unlike Giuliani, who failed to contest the summons in New York court on July 13 and was ordered to comply by default.

Graham, who made two calls to Raffensperger in which he may or may not have suggested tossing out enough mail-in ballots to flip the state for Trump, has sought to dodge the subpoena citing the Speech or Debate clause and legislative privilege. Like Rudy, he got some bad news today, too, as US District Judge Leigh Martin May booted his motion to quash the Fulton County subpoena.

[A]s illustrated by the Supreme Court’s analysis, the Speech or Debate Clause will not shield actions that are “political in nature rather than legislative” (or otherwise not fundamentally “legislative in nature”). These actions may include, among other things, (1) statements and speeches given outside of Congress regarding the 2020 election, (2) efforts to “cajole” or “exhort” state election officials to change their election practices or alter election results, and (3) coordination with the Trump Campaign (or other third parties) regarding post-election efforts in Georgia. And so, even if the Court were to accept that Senator Graham’s two calls to Georgia election officials were comprised entirely 11 of legislative factfinding—and that any inquiry related to those two calls was therefore shielded by the Speech or Debate Clause—there would still be significant areas of potential testimony related to the grand jury’s investigation on which Senator Graham could be questioned that would in no way fall within the Clause’s protections.

Womp womp.

Judge May was also unpersuaded by the senator’s assurances that he was definitely, totally not trying to persuade Secretary Raffensperger to change the vote tally, finding that it was an issue of fact to be determined by investigators.

When Graham first announced his intention to fight the subpoena, DA Willis told WSB-TV in Atlanta, “It is my hope that Sen. Graham will have a moment of quiet reflection and decide to bring truthful testimony before this grand jury that wants to hear from him on some very important issues.”

Presumably there are a lot of lawyers in Trumpland having a “Come to Jesus” moment right about now.

Giuliani Is Told He Is a Target of Trump Election Inquiry in Georgia [NYT]
Fulton County Special Purpose Grand Jury v. Graham [Docket via Court Listener]

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore where she writes about law and politics.

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