Judge orders Giuliani to testify to Georgia grand jury, suggests he take “train or a bus or Uber” if he can’t fly


If former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani can’t fly to Atlanta for court-ordered testimony before a grand jury investigating Donald Trump, he’d better find another way to get there, a judge suggested Tuesday.

Giuliani had been ordered to appear to testify Tuesday before Fulton County’s special grand jury investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, but on Monday filed an emergency application to postpone his appearance. His lawyers cited a doctor who said Giuliani is unfit for air travel following a heart stent operation earlier this summer.

Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the special grand jury, held a hearing on the request Tuesday and ordered Giuliani to appear for grand jury testimony on Aug. 17.

“The very limited information I have from a doctor, from a very fancy hospital, is that air travel is not compatible with Mr. Giuliani’s condition right now. And so that’s why I’m saying is don’t do it by air. That’s plenty of time to make the trip — 13 hour drive,” McBurney said during the hearing.

Giuliani was among Trump’s closest advisers as he attempted to fight his loss in 2020’s presidential election. His work for Trump included a December 2020 appearance before the Georgia State Senate in which he made unfounded claims of fraud and misconduct among state officials. 

Prior to Tuesday’s hearing, attorneys for Giuliani and District Attorney Fani Willis had sparred over claims he could not travel due to his health. But McBurney made clear from the start of Tuesday’s hearing that he intended to get Giuliani to appear in Atlanta.

“John Madden drove all over the country in his big bus from stadium to stadium,” McBurney said, referring to the football legend who famously avoided air travel. “So one thing we need to explore is whether Mr. Giuliani could get here without jeopardizing his recovery and his health, on train or a bus or Uber, whatever it would be.”

The special grand jury was empaneled in January at Willis’s request. The investigation stems from a Jan. 2, 2021 phone call between Trump and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump said, “All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

Raffensperger is among dozens of state officials and Trump associates who have been subpoenaed since May.

Giuliani is described in court documents as a material witness to the investigation, but his attorney said Tuesday that the district attorney has not responded to questions about whether Giuliani is also a target.

“That inquiry that I have not yet received a response to will dictate certainly how counsel addresses this matter with my client. It will dictate how things go here,” said William Thomas, Giuiliani’s attorney.

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