Trump ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows ordered to testify in Georgia election probe


White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters following a television interview, outside the White House in Washington, October 21, 2020.

Alexander Drago | Reuters

The Supreme Court of South Carolina on Tuesday ordered former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to testify before an Atlanta-area grand jury as part of its investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to interfere in Georgia’s 2020 election results.

A panel of five justices unanimously affirmed a lower court judge’s order for Meadows to comply with the subpoena from the Fulton County grand jury on Wednesday. Meadows had asked the state supreme court to block the subpoena.

But the justices rejected Meadows’ appeal, writing in a brief opinion, “We have reviewed the arguments raised by Appellant and find them to be manifestly without merit.”

A call for comment from Meadows’ attorney, James Bannister, was not immediately returned.

The Fulton County grand jury, led by Atlanta District Attorney Fani Willis, is conducting a criminal investigation involving Trump’s push for Georgia election officials to undo his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

On Jan. 2, 2021, four days before Congress confirmed Biden’s victory, Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and stressed his need to “find 11,780 votes” — a margin big enough for Trump to win the state. Meadows had participated in that call.

Raffensperger, a Republican, pushed back on Trump, who then attacked the Georgia official on social media.

In a motion to the South Carolina Supreme Court filed less than two weeks before his scheduled testimony date, Meadows’ attorney questioned the legitimacy of the grand jury because Georgia law does not grant it the power to criminally indict defendants.

The state supreme court’s ruling came one week after Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., another close Trump ally, testified before the Georgia grand jury. Graham had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to quash the grand jury’s subpoena for his testimony, but his request was rejected.

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