ATLANTA ( Associated Press) — Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia has been subpoenaed to testify before a special grand jury investigating whether former President Donald Trump and others tried to illegally interfere in the state’s 2020 election.
The subpoena, which Hice received on June 29, orders him to appear before a special grand jury in Atlanta on Tuesday, his attorney said in a court filing. That filing seeks to have the matter heard in federal court rather than before the Fulton County Superior Court judge who oversees the special grand jury.
“Since Congressman Hice is a member of the United States House of Representatives and is being asked to testify pursuant to a state-issued subpoena, the federal officer removal statute must apply, and therefore this action should be removed” to federal court, attorney Loree Anne Paradise wrote in the filing Friday.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened an investigation early last year into whether Trump and his allies committed any wrongdoing as they sought to overturn their narrow election loss in the state. A special grand jury with subpoena power sat in May at her request.
Several high-ranking Republican state officials, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Attorney General Chris Carr, have already testified before the special grand jury. Governor Brian Kemp is set to give a recorded affidavit on July 25.
Hice, who will leave office in January after a failed attempt to unseat Raffensperger, was one of several Republican lawmakers who attended a December 2020 meeting at the White House in which Trump allies discussed various ways to overturn the Joe Biden’s election victory. Hice joined other members of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative wing of the chamber, in the hour-long meeting to discuss with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows two specific strategies to subvert the election results. .
The first was an effort to name an alternate list of electors who would falsely declare that Trump was the winner in seven battleground states won by Biden. The second was a plan to escalate a pressure campaign against then-Vice President Mike Pence to ignore the true electoral votes of those seven states when he presided over the ceremonial certification process on January 6, 2021.
Cassidy Hutchinson, a former Meadows aide, disclosed the details of the White House meeting to the House committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
Earlier this month, Willis began a process to subpoena witnesses from out of state to testify. That included some close Trump advisers and allies, including U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who also served as Trump’s attorney.
Graham is scheduled for a hearing in federal court in South Carolina later this week to try to fight Willis’s attempt to get him to testify.
Willis, a Democrat, has charged that she is interested in the actions of the group of 16 Georgia Republicans who, acting as an alternative list of voters, signed a certificate falsely claiming that Trump had won the state when in fact it was Biden who won the state. greater amount. votes.
Associated Press writer Farnoush Amiri in Washington contributed to this report.