Judge orders Giuliani to appear before special grand jury next week

Whether by bus, train or car, a Fulton County Superior Court judge has ordered Rudy Giuliani to appear next week before the special purpose grand jury investigating whether anyone broke the law trying to change the outcome of the 2020 election in Georgia.

Judge Robert McBurney heard arguments from Giuliani's attorney as well as the Fulton County District Attorney's Office Tuesday afternoon after the two sides could not come to a compromise on their own.

Giuliani worked at former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer and the lead attorney for the Trump campaign as they filed legal challenges to the 2020 presidential election.  

He appeared before a Georgia State Senate committee in December 2020 and claimed election workers in Fulton County had been involved in fraud.  The Georgia Secretary of State's Office quickly debunked that idea.  

According to court filings, the special grand jury had originally issued Giuliani a subpoena on July 5.  He was directed to appear before the New York Supreme Court on July 13 to address or challenge the court order.  When Giuliani did not show up, they scheduled him to appear before the special grand jury in Fulton County on August 9.

But Giuliani's attorneys filed an emergency motion Friday asking the judge to push back Giuliani's testimony or make other special arrangements because of a recent medical procedure.

"We're just want a reasonable accommodation so that a 78-year-old man who has health conditions can get here and give them--or satisfy the directives from the New York court and from this court," said William Thomas, Jr., Giuliani's attorney.  


Rudy Giuliani appears in support of his son, New York Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Andrew Giuliani, at an election night watch party in Manhattan on June 28, 2022 in New York City. Andrew Giuliani lost to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who wil

In court filings, Giuliani's legal team suggested his testimony be done virtually because of a recent medical procedure.  

"The procedure was on our about July 4th and for the record, I've been at least authorized to disclose this, he had two coronary heart stents, I guess, implanted," said Thomas.  

The DA's office, however, said they were only interested in Giuliani appearing in person.

"To date, I don't think there has been a virtual appearance," said Judge McBurney.  "That doesn't mean there shouldn't be one or couldn't be one, but it's somewhat extraordinary, as in everyone else has figured out a way to get here."

Prosecutors also questioned whether Giuliani could not, in fact, travel.  They pointed to a photo Giuliani posted on Twitter August 1 that showed him in New Hampshire.

"The state delved into sort of an investigative mode to figure out if Mr. Giuliani had in fact taken part in any travel and we were able to unfold or understand that at least there were some tickets purchased to travel out of the country," said Fulton County Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade.  

Giuliani's legal team said someone else drove him on the New Hampshire trip and submitted copies of Giuliani's passport to the judge as evidence that he had not traveled out of the country since October 2021.  They claim those international plane tickets were purchased by organizers of an event that Giuliani was no longer going to take part in because of his medical situation.


Attorneys for Giuliani submitted a doctor's note saying Giuliani is "not yet cleared for air travel."  

Ultimately, Judge McBurney said that did not preclude Giuliani from making the trip on the ground and ordered him to appear in person August 17.

"He can set his own itinerary.  I'm confident he can figure out a way short of Greyhound that will get him to Atlanta that's not an airplane," said Judge McBurney.  "And if a doctor says it's inconsistent with his healthcare situation, we're gonna change the date."