Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is on fire in her handling of the investigation of election interference in Georgia by Donald Trump and his band of electoral vote brigands. After Willis won a huge victory this morning when a judge ruled that Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) must testify before the special grand jury that Willis empowered earlier this year, now word has come out that the Atlanta area District Attorney has officially informed Rudy Giuliani, a close ally and former attorney for Trump, that he is a “target” of the criminal investigation into the attempt to steal the state’s electoral votes from the rightful winner, Joe Biden.
The New York Times journalist Danny Hakim broke the news of Giuliani’s notification in a post on Twitter earlier today.
BREAKING: Rudy Giuliani has been told that he is a target of the criminal investigation in Georgia into election interference. He is scheduled to testify in Atlanta later this week.
— Danny Hakim (@dannyhakim) August 15, 2022
Generally, a person testifying before a grand jury is notified that they are the target of an investigation as a prelude to a criminal indictment in the case, as former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti noted in a tweet.
“Target” is a term prosecutors use to indicate that they are likely to indict someone. It has a specific meaning in this context.
If Giuliani has in fact been told that he is a target of the Georgia investigation, he should expect to be indicted. https://t.co/66zAwDX1yF
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) August 15, 2022
Although Willis has empowered a special grand jury to investigate the circumstances surrounding Trump’s efforts to overturn Georgia’s election results in his favor, she has yet to issue a single indictment associated with her investigation to date.
Rudy Giuliani is accused of being a central player in Trump’s attempts to influence local Georgia officials to alter the results of the 2020 presidential election and to assemble a slate of fake electors to send to Congress. In addition, attempts to seize voting machines for “inspection” — as GOP operatives did in both Arizona and Michigan to try to destroy faith in the integrity of the election process — have also been reported to have occurred in Georgia.
Giuliani has likely known he has been a target of the Willis investigation for some time now. He has done everything possible to avoid testifying before the grand jury, including claiming that a medical procedure would prevent him from flying to Atlanta for his scheduled appearance. A judge last week denied Giuliani’s request to postpone his testimony and ordered him to get to Georgia by car, bus, or train after it was discovered that Giuliani had purchased multiple airline tickets with cash, including tickets to Rome, Italy, and Zurich, Switzerland for travel after his procedure but before his scheduled grand jury appearance.
The primary outstanding question that now remains ahead of Giuliani’s testimony tomorrow is exactly how many times he will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination under questioning by Willis’ team.
The wheels of justice are turning slowly, but they are turning, and now Rudy Giuliani is facing the biggest challenge of his life.
Original reporting by Danny Hakim at The New York Times.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.