The Georgia special grand jury hearing evidence in an investigation into possible 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump and others has issued subpoenas to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and key members of Trump's legal team, including Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman, NBC News has confirmed.
The Fulton County special grand jury also subpoenaed lawyers Jenna Ellis, Cleta Mitchell and Kenneth Chesebro, all of whom worked with Trump as he contested the election results.
The subpoenas were first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and obtained by NBC News.
The special grand jury was impaneled this year to assist Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ investigation into whether there were any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections” in Georgia.
Among the incidents Willis has said she's investigating is a November 2020 phone call Graham made to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Raffensperger has said Graham pressed him about whether he had the power to reject certain absentee ballots, which Raffensperger interpreted as a suggestion to toss out legally cast votes.
Graham denied that's what he was trying to do, calling the allegation "ridiculous." He told reporters that he'd reached out to Raffensperger because he was “trying to find out how the signature stuff worked” and that “did a good job of explaining to me how they verify signatures.”
The subpoena said Graham “made at least two telephone calls" to Raffensperger and his staff. "During the telephone calls, [Graham] questioned Secretary Raffensperger and his staff about reexamining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia in order to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for former President Donald Trump. [Graham] also made reference to allegations of widespread voter fraud in the November 2020 election in Georgia, consistent with public statements made by known affiliates of the Trump Campaign," the subpoena said.
Graham didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
One of the lawyers subpoenaed Tuesday, Mitchell, was on a separate call with Raffensperger — the recorded Jan. 2, 2021, call in which Trump urged Raffensperger to overturn Joe Biden’s win in the state. “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump said on the call.
Trump has denied there was anything improper about the call, describing it as "perfect." The subpoena for Mitchell said she “possesses unique knowledge concerning the coordination and execution” of the phone call.
Raffensperger testified before the grand jury last month.
Giuliani testified before Georgia state legislators three times after the election, The Journal-Constitution reported, pushing debunked elections fraud claims and urging the legislators to take action.
In emotional testimony last month before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, election workers Ruby Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, outlined how they were harassed and targeted with death threats after Giuliani used video of the pair working during the election count to push lies about the results.
Giuliani falsely claimed that the two were passing USB drives “like vials of heroin or cocaine” during ballot-counting operations in Fulton County. Moss testified at the hearing that what her mother had actually handed her was a “ginger mint.”
The subpoena for Giuliani said that despite a lack of evidence, he “made additional statements, both to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings, claiming widespread voter fraud in Georgia during the November 2020 election and using the now-debunked State Farm Video in support of those statements. There is evidence that [Giuliani's] appearance and testimony at the hearing was part of a multi-state, coordinated plan by the Trump Campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere."
"State Farm" is a reference to State Farm Arena in Atlanta, where some vote counting took place.
Ellis testified alongside Giuliani at one Georgia hearing, which her subpoena said was also part of the "coordinated plan."
Eastman, another key figure in the Jan. 6 hearings, also testified before Georgia legislators, The Journal-Constitution reported, arguing that lawmakers had “more than enough” evidence of fraud to pick an alternate slate of presidential electors for the state. The subpoena for Eastman noted that he "advised lawmakers that they had both the lawful authority and a 'duty' to replace the Democratic Party’s slate of presidential electors, who had been certified as the duly appointed electors for the State of Georgia after the November 2020 election, due to unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud within the state."
Giuliani, Mitchell, Ellis and Eastman didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.