FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — UPDATE: Judge Robert C. I. McBurney said Tuesday he would want to have Rudy Giuliani in Atlanta on Aug. 17 to appear before the Fulton County special grand jury examining the interference campaign by former President Donald Trump and his allies in Georgia during the 2020 election.
Judge McBurney had originally ordered Giuliani to appear this week, but his lawyers had argued for a delay because of how his health - following a recent surgery - affects his ability to travel.
They said the surgery prevented him, in particular, from undertaking air travel. McBurney said Tuesday that the eight days between now and Aug. 17 should be enough time for Giuliani to find a way other than air travel to get to Atlanta.
He did leave open the possibility that if Giuliani's lawyers produce something from his doctors asking for a further delay, that he could be likely to grant it.
Original story below
Rudy Giuliani will not appear as scheduled Tuesday before a special grand jury in Atlanta after a medical surgery that is keeping him grounded, according to court filings. The grand jury is hearing testimony to help determine whether former President Donald Trump and others illegally tried to interfere in the 2020 general election in Georgia, his lawyer said.
Last month, a judge ordered Giuliani, a Trump lawyer and former New York City mayor, to appear before the special grand jury Tuesday.
But Giuliani's attorney, Robert Costello, told The Associated Press on Monday that Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who's overseeing the special grand jury, had excused Giuliani for the day. McBurney has scheduled a hearing for 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to hear arguments on a court filing by Giuliani seeking to delay his appearance.
Court filings reveal a doctor has not cleared Giuliani for travel due to a "recent invasive procedure," citing a letter from the medical professional dated Aug. 2.
However, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis countered, filing a tweet from his verified account as evidence that Giuliani had traveled outside of the state of New York following a medical procedure on Aug. 1. This prompted Giuliani's doctor to file a second letter, also dated Aug. 2, clarifying that he "is not yet cleared for air travel," adding his medical status would be reevaluated in four weeks.
The district attorney's office pushed back against the doctor's letters, obtaining records that show between July 19 and July 21, Guiliani purchased several airline tickets with cash for international destinations such as Rome, Italy and Zurich, Switerzerland. These flights had travel dates ranging between July 22 and July 29 -- after Giuliani's medical procedures.
Citing flexibility, the district attorney's office suggested that if Giuliani is not cleared for air travel, he can consider alternative methods such as bus or train.
"Based on the foregoing, the District Attorney respectfully requests that the Court deny Rudolph William Louis Giuliani's motion and order him to comply with both the order of this Court and the order of the Supreme Court of the State of New York commanding his appearance before the special purpose grand jury instanter," a response to Giuliani's attorney's motion reads. The filing was submitted Aug. 8.
Willis opened an investigation early last year, and a special grand jury with subpoena power was seated in May at her request.
Last month she filed petitions seeking to compel testimony from seven Trump advisers and associates, including Giuliani. Because they don’t live in Georgia, she had to use a process that involves getting a judge in the state where they live to order them to appear.
New York Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber on July 13 issued an order directing Giuliani to appear before the special grand jury on Aug. 9 and on any other dates ordered by the court in Atlanta.
In the petition for Giuliani’s testimony, Willis identified him as both a personal attorney for Trump and a lead attorney for his campaign.
She wrote that he and others presented a Georgia state Senate subcommittee with a video recording of election workers that Giuliani alleged showed them producing “suitcases” of unlawful ballots from unknown sources, outside the view of election poll watchers.
Within 24 hours of that hearing on Dec. 3, 2020, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office had debunked the video and said that it had found that no voter fraud had taken place at the site. Nevertheless, Giuliani continued to make statements to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings claiming widespread voter fraud using that debunked video, Willis wrote.
Evidence shows 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,” the petition says.