Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., is fighting a subpoena to testify before the Georgia special grand jury hearing evidence in an investigation into possible 2020 election interference by former President Donald Trump and others, court papers show.
Hice, a Trump ally who voted to reject the state-certified election results in Georgia and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6, is seeking to quash the subpoena from the grand jury assisting the Fulton Co. district attorney’s investigation.
The court documents don’t specify what topics the grand jury wants to discuss with Hice. A spokesman for Fani Willis, the district attorney, declined to comment on the case.
Willis, a Democrat, is investigating whether there were any “coordinated attempts to unlawfully alter the outcome of the 2020 elections” in Georgia.
Hice was initially scheduled to appear before the grand jury on Tuesday, but that appearance was postponed after Willis' office on Monday agreed to delay the deposition pending the outcome of a July 25 hearing on the case in federal court, according to a court filing.
“Congressman Hice received a subpoena from the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office to appear as a witness before the special purpose grand jury, and his legal team has successfully removed the matter to federal court,” said Sarah Selip, a spokeswoman for Hice, in a statement Monday. “At this time, Mr. Hice is eager to return to Washington, D.C. to fulfill his duties as a member of Congress as the House of Representatives is in session this week.”
Hice’s attorney, Loree Anne Paradise, had argued in a court filing that, "Since Congressman Hice is a member of the United States House of Representatives and is being asked to testify pursuant to a state-issued subpoena, the federal officer removal statute should apply, and this action should therefore be removed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.”
Hice's name has come up in hearings held by the House committee investigating the riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. White House visitor logs listed Hice as attending a Dec. 21, 2020, meeting at the White House, where several House Republicans met and strategized with Trump about possible actions on the day of the official electoral vote certification.
In a since-deleted Instagram post on the morning of Jan. 6, Hice wrote, “This is our 1776 moment.”
Hice has continued to question the results of the 2020 election and the former president backed Hice's unsuccessful primary challenge against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger earlier this year.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has also been subpoenaed by Willis to testify about phone calls he made to Raffensperger and his staff about the 2020 election and is fighting the demand in federal court in South Carolina.
In a court filing Monday, Willis' office argued Graham's objections should be tossed, in part because he should be challenging the subpoena in Georgia, not South Carolina.
The district attorney's office also disagreed with Graham's claim that he "was operating in his official capacity when he called the Georgia Secretary of State related to the Georgia vote count." Graham has said he made the calls in his then-role as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A hearing on Graham's case is scheduled for Wednesday in South Carolina federal court.