An investigation in Georgia focusing on possible interference in the 2020 presidential election is turning its attention to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and attorney Sidney Powell in a sign that the criminal probe is widening to include some of former President Donald Trump's closest allies.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on Thursday filed requests to compel testimony from Meadows and Powell, saying they were in communication with Trump, his campaign "and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multi-state, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 elections in Georgia and elsewhere.”
“Finally, the Witness’s anticipated testimony is essential in that it is likely to reveal additional sources of information regarding the subject of this investigation,” Willis added in her court filings.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, whose approval is needed for Willis to move forward with the requests, agreed that testimony from Meadows and Powell was "necessary and material" to the investigation.
He directed both of them to appear before the special purpose grand jury next month. Powell was told to appear on Sept. 22, followed by Meadows on Sept. 27.
The investigation has already included testimony from Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, whose attorneys were informed that he is now a "target" of the probe.
In her petition Thursday, Willis said the investigation has found that Meadows "was involved in setting up" a call with Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Jan. 2, 2021, in which Trump was heard saying he wanted Raffensperger "to find" the votes needed to recoup his loss in the state.
She added that Meadows is alleged to have sent emails to Justice Department officials, including then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, making various allegations about voter fraud in Georgia and calling on the agency to conduct investigations.
In the petition seeking Powell's testimony, Willis cited her close ties with Trump and a deposition before the House Jan. 6 committee in which she said Trump had asked her to serve as “special counsel” to address election issues and to collect evidence, which allegedly included efforts to obtain elections data from Coffee County, Georgia, in early January 2021, with the help of a data solutions company.
NBC News has asked Powell and an attorney for Meadows for comment.
Willis is also seeking testimony from former Trump campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn and Phil Waldron, the retired Army colonel who circulated a PowerPoint presentation offering suggestions for how to overturn the election. Both were subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 committee.