Ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who, as personal lawyer to former US President Donald Trump, tried to help him upend his 2020 reelection loss, was told Monday he was a target in the criminal election fraud investigation in the southern state of Georgia.
Lawyer Robert Costello told US news outlets that prosecutors in Atlanta, the state capital, informed Giuliani’s lawyers that he was under investigation for his role in trying to overturn Trump’s narrow loss in the state, the first time a Republican presidential candidate had lost the state since 1992.
Giuliani is scheduled to appear Wednesday before a special grand jury investigating weeks of efforts by Giuliani, Trump and others in late 2020 and into the first days of 2021 to overturn Trump’s 11,779-vote loss to Democrat Joe Biden in Georgia, a state in which 5 million ballots were cast.
At one point, on January 2, 2021, Trump pleaded in a taped telephone call with the state’s top election official, Brad Raffensperger, to “find” him one more vote than he needed to overtake Biden’s lead in Georgia.
Georgia was one of several political battleground states about which Trump made erroneous claims that vote-counting irregularities had cost him another four-year term in the White House.
As part of Trump’s effort in Georgia, Giuliani, in the weeks after the November 2020 election, spent hours before state legislative panels espousing false conspiracy theories about secret suitcases of Democratic ballots and corrupted voting machines. Nationwide, judges had dismissed at least 60 Trump lawsuits claiming election fraud.
As it suspended Giuliani’s law license last year, the New York state appellate court laid out much of his activity in Georgia on behalf of Trump. The court said he had made “numerous false and misleading statements regarding the Georgia presidential election results.”